ON May 14, Carlisle will hold a day of commemoration and reflection for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict.

The event will see approximately 90 Falkland Veterans march from Carlisle Cathedral to the war memorial outside the Old Town Hall, and we will also be joined by Richard Hyslop, the Falkland Islands’ representative to the UK who is himself originally from Carlisle.

One of the highlights of the day will be the presentation of the Falklands flag to the city of Carlisle.

The event will be one of the bigger commemorations outside of London.

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We will use the day to commemorate the incredible sacrifice made by the troops who went to liberate the islands, 255 of whom died. We are incredibly proud of our military in this country – and rightly so. But we have to remember that this pride has been paid for with sacrifice.

But as well as a day of commemoration, the day will also be one of reflection. Reflection of the conflict itself, and of the wider implications of what happened.

It was April 2 1982 that Argentine forces under the orders of a military government invaded the islands and quickly overwhelmed the defence force that was present, despite fierce resistance.

It was then that a task force to retake the Islands was assembled by the British Government.

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Intense and fierce fighting took place over the next few weeks – on land, sea and in the air.

The truth is that many across the world (including Argentina) believed that Britain had neither the capacity nor the will to retake the islands. But by June the British flag was once more flying over the Falklands.

News and Star: British Forces take the surrender at Port Stanley in 1982British Forces take the surrender at Port Stanley in 1982

From that victory, a large sense of pride in the UK was restored – and our international standing hugely boosted.

Since then, the Falklands have been transformed economically and have a truly unshakable sense of (British) identity. I will look forward to hearing more about this from Richard.

It is so important to remember events like the Falklands conflict. Amazingly, the end of the second world war was nearer in time to the Falklands conflict than we are now.

But there are still so many lessons to learn that are applicable today. Of course, you cannot think about the Falklands without taking a moment to think about what is happening in Ukraine – a people who want self-determination being attacked and occupied by an enemy force.

So, perhaps as well as a day of commemoration and reflection, we should also consider it a day of quiet celebration.

A celebration of the hard-earned victory and of the men and women who earned it; a celebration of the freedom that the Falklanders now enjoy; and a celebration of the defence of the principles that this country stands for.

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