As 38 years of Operation Banner comes to an end, perhaps we can finally put the spectre of the troubles behind us and move forward.
Then again, it would be a lot easier to do that if it weren't for the 5,000 British troops remaining in the North of Ireland even though the UK government has 'no strategic interest' in the place.
I'm no cornerboy republican, but this looks like more games with language from the British government to me. If 5,000 troops remain on Irish soil, then it's still under occupation. If 5,000 troops remain, then the operation is still ongoing. No PR spin can change those realities.
I look forward to the day when ALL the paramilitary organisations lay down their arms (are you listening, UDA?) and when ALL the British troops have withdrawn from the North of Ireland.
At that point, it might finally become possible for people to speak to each other, listen to each other, and create a democratic society moving forward without the baleful influence of the British military, their Loyalist proxies, or their Republican enemies.
Until then, it's a case of 'Slan Abhaile' to those troops leaving, and 'Can you take your 5,000 mates with you, please?'
Below is one of many murals depicting the theme of this very day. This one, by renowned artist Robert Ballagh, was done in Derry in the mid-Nineties. But similar images have graced walls in the Short Strand, Falls and Ardoyne areas of Belfast.