From this week's Economist, a strangely understated note:
The British army officially ended Operation Banner in Northern Ireland, its longest continuous operation. Soldiers were sent to the province in 1969 in what was intended to be a brief stint to quell sectarian violence. A garrison of 5,000 men will remain to offer support to the police.
More from the BBC about Tuesday's event:
The British army's operation in Northern Ireland came to an end at midnight after 38 years. Operation Banner—the Army's support role for the police—had been its longest continuous campaign, with more than 300,000 personnel taking part.
At the height of the Troubles, there were about 27,000 soldiers in Northern Ireland. From Wednesday, there will be no more than 5,000.
At 276,000 population, Belfast is about the same size as Raleigh, N.C., by the way.