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Queen praises courage of military
« on: December 25, 2006, 08:21:50 »
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Queen praises courage of military
Reuters, 24 Dec 06
Article Link - Download Podcast of Address to UK Armed Force after 251500GMT Dec 06, or 251000EST Dec 06

The Queen sent a special Christmas message on Sunday to her armed forces serving overseas, praising their courage and mourning their losses.

It is only the second time in recent years that the Queen has made a special broadcast message to the troops overseas ahead of her traditional message to the nation on Monday.

Princes William and Harry are both now junior officers in the army although highly unlikely to do front line duty given their royal status.

"I know it has been an extremely busy year on operations, overseas and here at home," said the Queen who celebrated her 80th birthday in 2006.

"In Iraq and Afghanistan you continue to make an enormous contribution in helping to rebuild those countries and in other operational theatres you undertake essential duties with a professionalism which is so highly regarded the world over."

In southern Iraq the insurgency is growing, while the 7,100 British troops are gradually handing over control to Iraqi security forces.

The government has said it hopes to cut the number of British armed forces there by several thousand in 2007.

In southern Afghanistan, where British troops as part of NATO forces are tasked with rebuilding the country's shattered infrastructure, they are instead waging a war with the resurgent Taliban.

"Your courage and loyalty are not lightly taken," the Queen said. "This year men and women from across the Armed Forces have lost their lives in action in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

"My thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends especially at this Christmas season.

"For those servicemen and women who have been injured in the course of their service, I wish each and every one of you a speedy recovery," she added.

A total of 126 British service men and women have been killed while serving in Iraq since the U.S-led invasion in March 2003, with a further 43 in Afghanistan since November, 2001.

 The Queen's special message to the troops will be broadcast early on Sunday.

"Throughout my life my relationship with the Armed Forces has been marked by my admiration and deep respect for everything you strive to achieve on behalf of all of us," the Queen said.

"My father King George VI said that the highest of distinctions is service to others'.

"There is no higher goal. Your service to our country is, I believe, an outstanding example of that ideal. I am grateful to you all.

"I wish you, and your families, a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year," she added.



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Offline Red 6

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Re: Queen praises courage of military
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2006, 08:51:34 »
Eloquently spoken. We owe our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen a debt that cannot be repaid.