Sunday, June 17, 2007

25-Years. My God, Where Has the Time Gone?

The troop ship Canberra returns to Southhampton
after the Falklands are retaken.

I have a crisp recollection of the time. I was lunching in the faculty lounge with law professor Donovan Waters (if you're a lawyer you get it). A couple of days earlier Margaret Thatcher had sent a slapped-together fleet into the South Atlantic.

The subject came up and Dr. Waters asked what I thought. I told him that British air power was going to doom the Argentinians who had seized the Falkland Islands. A day or two earlier I'd gone through some reports dealing with the remarkable performance of the Harrier in an lengthy battle test. Seems it was an astonishingly reliable and resilient aircraft. I assured my English friend that the Argie A-4s and Mirages didn't stand a chance. A number of weeks later Donovan told me how relieved he was that I'd been right. Unable to maintain air superiority, due mainly to the Harriers' presence, the Argies couldn't reinforce or resupply from either sea or air. Nor could they prevent the British landings.

Why does this come up? Only because I just found an item in The Guardian about a 25th anniversary victory fly-over in central London. Twenty five years? My lord, there was a time I would have considered 25-years a rough approximation of a lifetime. Now I can recall some events 25-years past clear as day.

Next to watching your children grow up, that sort of news flashback really reminds you that this is a one-way street and you've been on it for a while. Happy Father's Day!

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