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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Thatcher rallying call to troops
Baroness Thatcher
Baroness Thatcher: No finer troops in the world

Baroness Thatcher has issued a rallying call to British troops in war zones in a message to mark the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands.

She said that in "the struggle against evil... we can all today draw hope and strength" from the Falklands victory.

"Fortune does, in the end, favour the brave... and none are braver than our armed forces," she added in the message to Falklands Islanders and UK forces.

She said "we should still rejoice" at the victory in 1982.

As UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took the decision in 1982 to send a naval task force 8,000 miles (12,875 km) to the south Atlantic, to reclaim the islands after the Argentines invaded.

"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," she said.

'Never ending struggle'

There was, as she recalled in her message broadcast by the British Forces Broadcasting Service on the eve of the anniversary of victory, "no lack of people at home and abroad to foretell disaster".

Even when things started to go well they were then "just as quick to press some hopeless compromise".

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
Baroness Thatcher

She said: "We could never at any stage be sure what the outcome of the Falklands War would be. But of two 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... more than that they are the model of all we wish our country and our citizens to be. The service they offer and the sacrifice they make are an inspiration."

She said the Falklands was a national struggle which the whole country "felt", and was "mercifully short".

Lady Thatcher then turned to "our boys - and girls as well, of course" currently stationed in war zones who showed that "in a sense there are no final victories, for the struggle against evil in the world is never ending".

"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," she said.

Memories 'fresh'

"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."

She sent she felt "privileged and very moved" to be making the broadcast to British forces and the Falkland Islanders.

She said the memories for many people of that time were "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 best wishes to them - you are in my thoughts and in my prayers."


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