1. John Farmer writes in the The Star Ledger. Sunday, August 05, 2007: "The weather in Northern Ireland that March morning in 1982 was as bleak as the province's religion-cursed politics as I rounded a corner, strode onto Falls Road and into a scary encounter with life on the mean streets of West Belfast.
I was in a hurry, not paying attention to my surroundings, thinking about something that must have seemed important then but escapes me now. What I recall of that moment today is the jolt of fear I got staring into the barrel of a rifle held by a British soldier and pointed at my chest. He was small and young, a teenager perhaps, with red hair and a fair face that registered the same fright as I felt.
He was walking "point" for his patrol, the most exposed position in the most dangerous section of the most dangerous city in Europe at that time. I stopped cold -- it seemed the thing to do -- and tried to come up with something reassuring to say. Nothing did."
Read more... http://www.nj.com/starledger/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1186288378133630.xml&coll=1
2. CNN.com, Wednesday, August 1, 2007: "The British army ends at midnight Tuesday its 38-year role supporting police in Northern Ireland, its longest military operation ever."