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Falklands 25 Years on Thatcher says: It’s united us all

Posted by cotojo on June 14, 2007

Baroness Maggie Thatcher yesterday said the Falklands victory meant Britain could draw strength in the current battle against terror and evil. The former PM, who ordered the South Atlantic Task Force into action, spoke with emotion to the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

She said: ‘I feel privileged, and very moved, in making this broadcast. The Falkland Islanders are celebrating the anniversary of their liberation. The memories of that time are for many as fresh as yesterday.

Such intense experience unites us in spirit, even though a quarter-century has passed, and though we are 8,000 miles apart. Today, I send my very best wishes to them — you are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

Twenty-five years ago British forces secured a great victory in a noble cause. The whole nation rejoiced at the success; and we should still rejoice.

Aggression was defeated and reversed. The wishes of local people were upheld as paramount. Britain’s honour and interests prevailed.

Sending troops into battle is the gravest decision that any Prime Minister has to take. To fight 8,000 miles away from home, in perilous conditions, against a well-armed, if badly led, enemy was bound to be an awesome challenge.

Moreover, at such times there is no lack of people, at home and abroad, to foretell disaster. Then, when things go well, they are just as quick to press some hopeless compromise.

So we could never at any stage be sure what the outcome of the Falklands War would be. But of two other things I could be sure — first that our cause was just, and second that no finer troops could be found in the world than those of our country.

That is still the case. Britain’s armed services are unmatched in their skill and professionalism. More than that, they are the model of all that we wish our country and our citizens to be. The service they offer and the sacrifice they make are an inspiration.

The Falklands War was a great national struggle. The whole country knew it and felt it. It was also mercifully short.

But many of our boys — and girls as well, of course — are today stationed in war zones where the issues are more complex, where the outcome is more problematic, and where life is no less dangerous. In these circumstances, they often need a different sort of courage, though the same commitment.

So, as we recall, and give thanks for, the liberation of our islands, let us also recall the many battlefronts where British forces are engaged today.

There are, in a sense, no final victories, for the struggle against evil in the world is never ending. Tyranny and violence wear many masks.

Yet from victory in the Falklands we can all today draw hope and strength. Fortune does, in the end, favour the brave. And it is Britain’s good fortune that none are braver than our armed forces. Thank you all’.

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