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Ricardo Martín Jaureguiberry received the saber at an emotional ceremony held at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Mark Kent.
As a “gesture of friendship” between Argentina and the United Kingdom, a retired Army colonel who fought in the Malvinas war received the sword at the British embassy in Buenos Aires and the British took as a trophy, during the surrender in 1982.
37 years after the war that faced the two countries, the saber was restored to Colonel Ricardo Martín Jaureguiberry in an emotional ceremony that took place at the residence of the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Mark Kent, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.
"We are here to fulfill a wish. The saber was with then-ship captain Hugo White and stayed with him until his death. Your widow asked us to restore the saber, and here we are. Their action is an example of what we must do to repair the emotional wounds of the war,” Kent said on the spot, accompanied by Embassy Defense Attaché Robin Smith .
After the war ended, Jaureguiberry left his sword — the same one that had been handed over to him in 1977 when he graduated from the Military School — in the Malvinas Islands, along with all the weapons handed over by Argentine fighters during the surrender. The object was guarded by White, who was captain of an English frigate ship during the conflict and who - between 1992 and 1995 - became number two in the Royal Navy, as commander-in-chief of the British Fleet.
Admiral White kept it on the desk of his family home until his death in June 2014, after which his wife asked Ambassador Kent to make arrangements to return the saber to Jaureguiberry, as a “gesture of friendship and a reminder of the honour that prevailed during the fighting,” they highlighted at the embassy.
“ This is a miracle that it would not have been possible without the generosity of those who built the bridges to make it a reality,” said the retired colonel during the event, where he was accompanied by his entire family: his mother, wife, children, daughter-in-law and son-in-law. Also present at the ceremony were the National Director of Malvinas and South Atlantic of the Foreign Ministry, Osvaldo Mársico, and veterans and companions of Jaureguiberry during the war.
“ I feel great joy and excitement, a series of memories that come back to my mind after 37 years. It is indelible moments that we lived during the conflict, and now everything is recycled,”said the veteran, who was part of Engineering Company 9 during the war.
The colonel, who is now working on the security of the pipeline from Neuquén to Bahía Blanca, says that in the last time he won “two new and unexpected friends”: Lady White, the captain's widow, and Richard Cockwell, who in 1982 was the civil administrator of a stay in Fox East Bay, on the island of Gran Malvina, where the company landed by Jaureguiberry.
White's widow “made contact with Richard, who was the right person; it was he who remembered my name, started laying the strings and placed me at the end of last year,” the former combatant said.
The sabre - engraved with his name, the date 16 December 1977 and the inscription Presidency of the Nation - "has no material value, but has a high emotional significance. And it leaves us with a teaching: we have a lot to learn and dialogue so that one day we have a solution that is the best for all parties,” he reflected.
In this case, the weapon remained within the UK military community and did not fall into the hands of people seeking to profit from an auction, such as some cases that have been known in recent months.
Last Saturday, the helmet worn by former combatant Miguel Manuel Navarro during the war was sold for over 700,000 pesos at an online auction site in London, thus frustrating the veteran's family's desire to recover it.
Last March another former combatant, Jorge Alberto “Beto” Altieri, was luckier and managed to recover the helmet that saved his life at the Battle of Mount Longdon, after he was withdrawn from an auction in London.
Publication Date: 19/05/2019
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