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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 16:31 GMT
Weston approval at Falklands plan
Simon Weston OBE
Simon Weston OBE is hoping to attend the events
Falklands War veteran Simon Weston has said he is pleased with plans for the 25th anniversary commemoration of the conflict.

Events for 2007 include a veterans' march down the Mall in London next summer.

The former Welsh Guard was badly burned during the Sir Galahad bombing in 1982.

"There are a lot of excellent plans being put in place which have been well thought out and we are looking forward to it," he said.

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

I can't be treated any differently - I didn't do anything different
Simon Weston OBE

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

Mr Weston was serving on the Sir Galahad when it was bombed by Argentine planes, killing 22 members of a platoon of 30.

He suffered serious burns but his recovery and subsequent charity work - for which he was awarded an OBE - has made him one of the most recognisable figures from the conflict.

"I think it's very important for the people who were actually there and I think it's important for the islanders because they are celebrating their liberty," he said.

The Sir Galahad in 1982
The Sir Galahad was hit on 8 June 1982 in Bluff Cove

"I'm really looking forward to next year and taking part with the rest of the guys and enjoying it."

He hopes the commemorations would be used as a way of highlighting the need for support for servicemen and women who had been in battle.

"Loyalty and duty goes both ways and the guys really feel they have been let down in that regard," he said criticising what he said was a lack of emotional support for his fellow servicemen following the conflict.

At the weekend, there was criticism in a newspaper that he had not been given a special role within the commemoration events to mark the 25th anniversary of the battle - a criticism Mr Weston feels is unjustified.

"I didn't think I should be given anything special," he said.

Falklands veterans on HMS Illustrious launch the 25th anniversary events in London

"Why would they give me something special? I can't be treated any differently - I didn't do anything different.

The plans of the commemorations were announced by the UK government Veterans' Minister Derek Twigg.

Events begin on 14 June - Liberation Day - with a service of remembrance at the Falkland Islands memorial chapel in the grounds of Pangbourne nautical college, Berkshire.

Later that day, live link ups will take place between the UK and the Falkland islands.

On 17 June, veterans and their families will gather in London's Horse Guards Parade for a drumhead service.

This will be followed by a veterans' march-past for a royal salute, accompanied by military escort down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. There will also be a fly-past.

Space for the Horse Guards Parade is limited to 15,000 and limited to veterans and their families who will have to apply for tickets to attend.

Mr Weston also praised plans to erect a monument in Cardiff, made from rock from the Falkland Islands, to recognise the sacrifices of Welsh servicemen who gave their lives during the conflict.


SEE ALSO
Simon Weston tells of trauma
21 Jun 06 |  Breakfast
Parade to commemorate Falklands
26 Jun 06 |  UK Politics
Weston's 'beat adversity' message
03 May 06 |  Mid Wales
Weston opens charity centre
13 Dec 04 |  North East Wales

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