Saturday, June 16, 2018
FOR 40 years, Fiji had helped to make the world more secure through our service on UN based missions.
These were the words of His Excellency President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote in closing the week-long celebration to commemorate Fiji’s 40th year of peace keeping.
Hundreds of veterans and active serviceman from the Army, Police and Corrections Service had marched through Suva earlier in the day up to Albert Park.
The celebrations had started in Lautoka earlier in the week, before moving on to Labasa on Wednesday before the gathering in Suva.
“As a nation we have identified the importance of the legacy of peace keeping because it is reflect the values that bind us.
“These values are important because it reflects how we are viewed by other nations.
He also mentioned how peace keepers were also silent achievers, usually blending back into their communities and families after they had served.
“So in this last week, we have heard great stories shared by grandfathers, fathers, sons and brothers of their experiences in the past 40 years of peace keeping.
Ïn a speech earlier in the week, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the legacy of Fijian peacekeepers continues to this day through the nearly 900 brave Fijians currently serving as UN Peacekeepers around the world; all of whom are worthy successors to that 40-year legacy of excellence which we honour today.
The event also remembered the more than 55 service man who laid down their lives for the cause. Some of them were represented by family members or spouses during the event.
The Peacekeeping Mission with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Lebanon started in 1978 and the first battalion was led by Lt-Col Epeli Nailatikau, former president of Fiji
Fiji had volunteered for these peacekeeping duties when other nations had withdrawn.
* Images captured from the event can be viewed in the Photo Gallery.