Thursday, June 14, 2007

Falklanders hail Brit liberators

It is hard to believe it has been 25 years since the Falkland Islands War ended. I remember watching this war on TV when I was a boy. CNN has an article titled Falklanders hail Brit liberators which looks at the British memorial service held on the Falkland Islands to remember the war.

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands claiming them as a part of Argentina. Despite the long standing pro-British population of the islands, and almost universal recognition of the Falklands as British territory by the international community, Argentina claimed the islands were illegally occupied by Britain. As such, they claimed to be coming as liberators. The locals in the Falklands were not overjoyed at their liberation.

The British fought back and retook the islands. About 650 Argentines and 255 British troops died in the war. The war also saw heavy naval causalities on both sides with some of the most extensive sinking of naval ships seen since World War Two. It showed old fashioned naval vessels were more highly vulenerable to missiles and air assaults than was already believed.

The article notes, "Hundreds of visitors, including Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward, British Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, veterans and reporters, descended on Stanley, home to most of the Falkland archipelago's 3,000 citizens. On Wednesday, Prince Edward laid a wreath at a memorial to Britain's Sir Galahad landing craft, which was sunk by Argentina in the war. He spoke to relatives of those who died on the vessel. British officials and veterans will lay a wreath on Friday at a cemetery where Argentine soldiers are buried."

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner declined a British invitation to take part in a joint commemoration of the war. Argentina still claims the islands and is hoping to one day to get them. Unfortunately, that means there may be another Falkland Islands war sometime in the future. Let's hope not.

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