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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Parade to commemorate Falklands
British troops raising a flag during the Falklands War
The 1982 Falklands War lasted several months
"Major celebrations" are planned to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War, Junior Defence Minister Tom Watson has announced.

Festivities will take place in the UK and the Falklands next year, with a full drumhead service, parade and march past in London on 17 June.

More than 1,000 lives, including over 200 British soldiers, were lost in the 1982 conflict, which lasted 74 days.

Britain claimed sovereignty in 1833 but it has remained disputed ever since.

Mr Watson made the announcement after a service at Westminster Abbey marked the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross and the bravery of those awarded it.

Veterans' Day

He told MPs: "There will be a major celebration to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Falklands.

"My own views are that it should be both celebrated in the UK and in the Falklands."

The Ministry of Defence said a service of remembrance would be held at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne, Berkshire, and in the Falkland Islands, on 14 June, next year.

This will mark the 25th anniversary of Liberation Day - the day the Argentines surrendered.

This will be followed by a full drumhead service on Horse Guards Parade in London, three days later.

And next year's Veterans Day, which is staged each year on 27 June, will focus on the Falklands.

Tory shadow defence minister Mark Harper welcomed the decision to commemorate the anniversary.

"Given the bold courageous leadership of Margaret Thatcher and the bravery and dedication of our armed forces it is welcome that the events of 25 years ago will be commemorated so prominently," he said.

Here are a selection of your comments.

Dignified celebration is the correct thing to do. We should remember and celebrate the professionalism of the soldiers who fought against the odds to defeat an unprovoked invasion of UK land. Soldiers fought and died to protect UK citizens and it is only right that civil society should applaud them on their success.
Richard, Swindon, UK

This Government would be better served helping the men who suffer with PTSD as a result of their service in wars like the Falklands instead of shutting down all the military psychiatric hospitals. Blair has no interest whatsoever in the Falklands War as it was a war won under Thatcher.
Tony McNally (Falklands Veteran), Barrow

Jingoistic nonsense and an attempt at flag-waving by politicians who clearly want to make war sacrifices more palatable to the public. There should be a low-key commemoration by veterans with support when requested from the MoD. The fallen are remembered in an appropriate sombre and reflective manner every year on November 11th. I served in the Armed Forces and, speaking to current and former personnel, most treat this with suspicion. These wretched politicians - who have never worn uniform - should not be allowed anywhere near these events.
Iain, Edinburgh, UK

As a sister of someone who served during the Falklands and as an ex-girlfriend of a sailor who lost his life, I think a small service of remembrance is all the that those that served would want.
Nicky, Nuneaton

Go ahead, Brits, stick it in the face of dictators everywhere. Of course it ought to be remembered.
Jim, Boston, USA

Remembrance of the lives lost and damaged on both sides should certainly take place
Bob Stammers, Kingsley, Hants
The war represented a failure of politics and diplomacy and for that reason should not be "celebrated". I admire and respect the British troops who executed the war so bravely and professionally but I doubt that they would want to celebrate either. Remembrance of the lives lost and damaged on both sides should certainly take place.
Bob Stammers, Kingsley, Hants, UK

Nobody ever questions the validity of celebrations such as VE day or the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two. This celebration should be considered no different. A whole generation has passed since our small nation successfully projected its power over several thousand miles at a moment's notice and defended our beliefs and way of life against an aggressive, tyrannical force. If that's not worthy of celebration then I don't know what is.
Phil Lewin, Loughborough, UK

The best memorial that we can provide to our dead (and living servicemen) is to ensure that we as taxpayers provide our current servicemen have the right equipment that they need to both protect themselves and to complete the tasks that they have been asked to do.
Kevin, Leeds

An unnecessary war caused by complacent British politicians and an opportunist military junta. Not a war to celebrate but to take lessons from.
Ian Baildon, Bradford

British territory was invaded by military forces, a small British garrison was overwhelmed and British citizen put under foreign domination against their wishes. This foreign power was given ample warning to withdraw and could have without a shot being fired but chose not to. I think remembrance for the fallen liberators and celebration of the liberation is in order.
Roy Prescott, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada

There are no winners in any war, only a sense of loss, especially for the families of those who died. I am Argentinean and I live in England. I was only eight at the time of the war but I strongly believe that neither country should claim the islands as theirs and they should have their own independence. Argentina is a vast country with thousands of acres of empty land and England is too far away. However, that is only my opinion, what I do not accept is a celebration for this 'triumph', it is an insult to those who died and to those who survived that have lived for the last 25 years with the memories and will continue to do so until their time comes.
Mariana, Ashington, UK

Citizen X has the wrong idea. The Falklands was a war of self defence and we should surely celebrate the success of our forces in liberating British citizens in British territory from an aggressive force that was in an infinitely better position on paper.
Charlie T, London, UK

Although all wars are tragic and leave a lasting legacy of pain and suffering, we should celebrate this great achievement by the men of the UK Task Force, the bravery and sacrifices they made and the lasting legacy of a Falklands that is governed by the country that islanders want. This war helped re-establish Britain's self confidence and we could not ignore the aggression of the Argentines, however just their claims may be. By commemorating this war we should honour both the British and Argentine dead and those still suffering.
Pete Sandeman, Hove, East Sussex

I am British and proud of it, but I am appalled at the idea of "celebrating" this anniversary. The war should not be forgotten, and a simple service to commemorate those who served and died in the conflict (on both sides) would be far more appropriate.

At a time when we should be trying to heal the wounds of the past and understand other people's points of view a military parade and victory celebration is old fashioned and very insensitive.
Phil Henderson, Chelmsford, Essex

I bet most of the new generation doesn't even know what or where the Falklands is.
Ric, UK

Will we be 'celebrating' Iraq in 25 years?
Martin, Coventry, England
As a soldier at the time, the idea that our 'brave' politicians who would never face an enemy themselves would like to hijack this anniversary makes me vomit. Something private, dignified and that remembers the boy conscripts the Junta sent against us might just be appropriate. Will we be 'celebrating' Iraq in 25 years? No doubt we will if the politicians have their way!
Martin, Coventry, England

Remembering the people who lost their lives is reasonable. However, to have celebrations, parties and parades to commemorate this recent war is tasteless.
Del, Scarborough, UK

Remembrance, yes. Celebrate, no.
Andrew Georgiou, London, UK

The thing I detest about commemorating wars is the involvement of the very governments and organisations which chewed up and spat out human life without a second thought. The Falklands War was a tragedy, like every other war, brought about by men in power and fought mainly by those without. I will pay tribute to the lost by thinking of them and their families and how they were betrayed by political leaders on both sides.
Citizen X, UK

No celebration, we should not ever celebrate wars, two minutes silence would be quite sufficient. A celebration I feel is not what the public would want.
Dave, Cornwall

I think one day a year is enough to remember those who have fought and died for our freedom. However, I think more can be made out of the day itself - parades and parties, like those of ANZAC Day down under, are the chance we all need to pay thanks and remember - plus buy an old vet a drink or two in the pub!
David, London, England

I personally do. I think I would be right by saying many millions of people around the world will agree with me. These soldiers who are heroes and they should be honoured in memory of the dead and people who survived it even though they would never of asked for such thing. As most of the time it's not the guilty party who get injured, it's innocent civilians of the world. This hopefully on a remembrance day should be a day of thought and appreciation of the people who fought a battle solid for 74 days.
Glyn Owen, Connahs Quay

We need to indulge in the classic paradox of conflict remembrance; Celebrate the preservation of liberty and mourn the deaths of all those who died.
Dan Roberts, Nottingham, UK

Like most conflicts, the Falklands War should be commemorated. But only in a low-key way. Let's face it, the war was not a large one, so small-scale ceremonies in the Falklands and Whitehall will suffice.
John, Manchester

Commemorate this as we should - with a great party to mark a victory over an enemy. My main memories of this are the sad losses of men and equipment sustained during this justified conflict. Chris H
Chris Hunt, Snodland, Kent

Two minutes silence.
Adrian Brown, Oxford, UK

This is appalling jingoism. We have Remembrance Day for war dead on 11 November. War is never something to celebrate. This can only open up wounds that are barely healed. Once again the UK will be looked at with distain by the whole of South America. Spend the effort building relationships, not ruining them.
Andy, Matlock

Tories warn of Falklands threat
06 Mar 06 |  UK Politics

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