Falklands Families Receive Elizabeth Cross

Tom Parmenter, Sky News correspondent
Falklands Families Receive Elizabeth Cross

The Elizabeth Cross medal has been presented to those families who lost relatives in the Falklands War.

They were among 850 people who gathered for a service of remembrance and thanksgiving at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel in Pangbourne, Berkshire.

Special services have also taken place across the islands this week, 30 years after the Argentinian surrender in 1982.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope told Sky News: "I don't think it's something that is a burden on those who were there.

"I think it is a burden on the nation as a whole to recognise the importance of that campaign in... confirming the United Kingdom as a country that stands up for what it thinks is right, and then goes and does something about it."

The Miller family travelled from Teesside to attend the service and receive the Elizabeth Cross.

David Miller was 22 when he was killed on June 8, 1982. He had been serving on HMS Fearless when his landing craft was hit by an Argentinian bombing raid.

His mother Ann told Sky News: "I remember it like it was yesterday." She will now wear her Elizabeth Cross medal with immense pride: "Nobody is getting near it," she added.

Sky News events commentator Alistair Bruce, himself a veteran of the Falklands conflict, said: "There were 255 who were killed and each of the families are entitled to receive the Elizabeth Cross, which is the nation's way of saying: 'we acknowledge you'."

The ceremony comes as Argentina continues to posture over the future of the islands they call Las Malvinas.

This week President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addressed the UN in New York and called for talks with Britain over the sovereignty of the islands.

The UK has reiterated their stance that the matter is not negotiable.

David Miller's brother Brian made an emotional visit to the Falklands in 2008. He told Sky News: "Whatever they say, he Falklands are British.

"The Argentinians can do what they want but they won't get anywhere, they haven't got the bottle."

A referendum will be held on the Falkland Islands next year to assess how islanders feel about their ties to the UK.

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