Liberation Day in Falkland Islands
Observed annually in the Falkland Islands on June 14th, Liberation Day commemorates the liberation of the islands from Argentine military control in 1982. If June 14th falls on a Sunday, the celebration is moved to the 15th that year.
Because it is a public holiday, it is not only a day when schools and government buildings are closed, but also a day when businesses close and the general public has the day off. Many of the commemorations of this day occur at Christ Church Cathedral, which is followed by a wreath-laying ceremony and a military parade.
The History of Liberation Day in the Falkland Islands
In 1690, English Captain John Strong landed on the Falkland Islands and began exploring them. In 1764, some of the first settlements were established on the island when Port Louis was founded by French Captain Louis Antoine de Bougainville.
British Captain John MacBride established Port Egmont on Saunders Island. The British voluntarily withdrew from the islands in 1774, leaving Spain to govern them. Colonel David Jewett raised Buenos Aires’s 1816 claim to Spain’s territories in the South Atlantic.
He did this in 1820, four years after the original claim. Buenos Aires attempted to assert its influence over the islands, but British forces reasserted their rule in 1833. The Confederation of Buenos Aires protested against the British forces, but their concerns were largely ignored.
This did not cause a major conflict for approximately 100 years, until Argentina decided to push for their rights to the islands. Argentine military forces invaded the Falkland Islands on April 2nd, 1982. This marked the beginning of the Falklands War.
The war lasted two months and ended on June 14th, 1982, as Argentine forces surrendered and Great Britain claimed victory in the conflict. June 14th was subsequently designated as Liberation Day to commemorate this event.
Observing Liberation Day in the Falkland Islands
Every year, islanders gather at Christ Church Cathedral to commemorate this day with a thanksgiving service. This is followed by wreath-laying ceremonies at the Liberation Monument. There is also a military parade on this day.
Since this is a public holiday, it is a day when schools, businesses, and government offices are closed, and many people have the day off. This gives people a chance to spend time with friends and family members, either at public events or privately. Word about this holiday can be spread via the internet using the hashtag #LiberationDayFalklandIslands.