As a “gesture of friendship” between Argentina and the United Kingdom, a retired army colonel who fought in the Malvinas War received at the British embassy in Buenos Aires the saber that led to the islands and the English took as a trophy during the surrender in 1982.
37 years after the war against the two countries, the sabre was returned to Colonel Ricardo Martín Jaureguiberry in an emotional ceremony held at the residence of the United Kingdom ambassador, Mark Kent, in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood 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. His widow asked us to restore the saber, and here we are. His action is an example of what we must do to repair the emotional wounds of war,” Kent said on the spot, accompanied by Embassy Defense Attaché Robin Smith.
Once the war ended, Jaureguiberry left his sabre - the same he had been handed over in 1977 when he graduated from the Military School - in the Falkland Islands along with all the weapons handed over by Argentine fighters during the surrender. The object was kept by White, who was the captain of an English frigate during the conflict and who - between 1992 and 1995 - became number two of 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 take steps to return the sabre to Jaureguiberry, as a “gesture of friendship and a reminder of the honor that prevailed during the fighting”, according to his wife's work. uacute; n stood out at the embassy.
“ This is a miracle that 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, his wife, his children, daughter-in-law and sons-in-law. Also present at the ceremony were the National Director of Malvinas and South Atlantic of the Chancellery, 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 live during the conflict, and now everything is recycled,” said the veteran, who was a member of the 9 Engineers Company 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 unthought friends”: Lady White, the captain's widow, and Richard Cockwell, who in 1982 was the civil administrator of a stay in East Fox Bay, on Gran Malvina Island, where Jaureguiberry's company landed.
It's just that White's widow “made contact with Richard, who was the right person; it was he who remembered my name, started to lay the threads and placed me at the end of last year,” said the former combatant.
The saber - which bears its name on 16 December 1977 and the inscription Presidency of the Nation - " has no material value, but it does have a high emotional significance . And it leaves us with a teaching: we have a lot to learn and dialogue so that someday we have a solution that is best for all parties,” he said.
In this case, the weapon remained within the UK military community and did not fall into the hands of people looking to profit from an auction, such as some cases known in recent months.
Last Saturday, the helmet used by former combatant Miguel Manuel Navarro during the war was sold for more than 700,000 pesos at an online auction site in London, and that way the veteran's family's desire to be able to recover it was thwarted.
Last March another former fighter, Jorge Alberto “Beto” Altieri, was lucky 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.
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