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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 16:32 GMT
Events to mark Falklands War date
Crowds greeting HMS Hermes on its return to Portsmouth from the Falklands
Anniversary events will remember hundreds of servicemen killed
The 25th anniversary of the Falklands War will be marked by a series of events next summer, including a veterans' march down the Mall.

Veterans Minister Derek Twigg, speaking on HMS Illustrious in Greenwich, said the islands' liberation was a "huge achievement".

Events will begin with raising the Union flag in Port Stanley on 14 June, the day the conflict officially ended.

A total of 255 Britons and 655 Argentineans died in the 74-day war.

Three people from the islands, in the south Atlantic, were also killed.

'Professionalism'

The islands, off the coast of Argentina, were a cause of friction between the two countries since Britain claimed them in 1833.

Mr Twigg said the liberation of the islands was achieved by "all three services" and civilians who supported them, in "harsh conditions, 8,000 miles from home".

It's very important for the people who were actually there and ... for the islanders because they're celebrating their liberty
Simon Weston

"I cannot praise highly enough the professionalism, courage and determination of our forces who served in the Falklands," he said.

"It is right that we should commemorate this and remember those who lost their lives".

Mr Twigg added that it was hoped thousands of veterans would attend the event. He said those he had spoken to were happy at how the war was intended to be marked.

Simon Weston, a former Welsh Guardsman who served on the Sir Galahad when it was bombed by Argentine planes, told the BBC commemorations were a good idea.

"I think it's very important for the people who were actually there and I think it's very important for the islanders because they're celebrating their liberty.
British soldiers troops preparing to leave for the Falkland Islands in 1982
Mr Twigg praised the courage of UK troops

"So it's going to be a very good year, there's a lot of excellent plans being put in place and it's being well thought out. So we're all looking forward to it," he said.

As well as a march by Falklands War veterans down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, there will be a flypast of aircraft from the era.

Rear Admiral Peter Wilkinson, who is in charge of organising commemorations, said the "big event" will be at Horse Guards Parade, in London, which is set to include an audio-visual event with live link-ups to the Falkland Islands.

"It's hoped a number of veterans will take part in that event and their modern day counterparts in all three services," he said.

He said they hoped a fly past would include a Vulcan bomber that is being restored by a private trust.

Pangbourne College, Berkshire, where the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel is based, will also take part in events.

HMS Illustrious, a 22,5000-tonne aircraft carrier, is moored off Greenwich after taking part in a series of Remembrance Day events over the weekend.


SEE ALSO
Parade to commemorate Falklands
26 Jun 06 |  UK Politics

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