Military forces of the Republic of Fiji celebrate Infantry Day

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Ratu Epeli Nailatikau highlighted how personal Infantry Day was for him and others like him, as Infantry Day was introduced to commemorate the late Corporal Sefania Sukunaivalu, who made the ultimate sacrifice. during Solomon’s campaign in World War II.

From left to right, Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, Lieutenant Colonel 3FIR CO Penioni Naliva, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, President Jioji Konrote, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ioane Naivalurua and the Chief of the Navy Captain Humphrey Tawake. Photo: RFMF multimedia unit

In the history of the Military Forces of the Republic of Fiji (RFMF), it is considered a rare opportunity for servicemen to dine with the President, their Commander-in-Chief, at the start of their military career.

Speaking at the official Infantry Day dinner on Friday June 21 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, the main guest and Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said it was an honor and privilege for people present and that it should never be forgotten.

“Enjoy this moment. Your Excellency, we are honored and privileged to have you with us this evening, ”said Ratu Epeli.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau during the official Infantry Day dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel. Photo: RFMF multimedia unit

Ratu Epeli Nailatikau highlighted how personal Infantry Day was for him and others like him, as Infantry Day was introduced to commemorate the late Corporal Sefania Sukunaivalu, who made the ultimate sacrifice. during Solomon’s campaign in World War II.

“This is Remembrance Day, where we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, defending our nation and the stranger,” he said.

“You may have heard many incidents about this event about how Corporal Sukunaivalu’s platoon was ambushed in Mawaraka on June 23, 1944. Corporal Sukunaivalu voluntarily came out to rescue some of the wounded… rescuing two men, was injured in the thighs.

“He motioned to his men not to save him, but ignored his orders and continued. All their unsuccessful attempts have claimed more lives. To save his man from the enemy front line, Corporal Sukunaivalu climbed in front of the Japanese machine guns and was shot.

“We will never forget our soldiers who sacrificed their lives in WWI, WWII, Lebanon, Sinai, Iraq and those soldiers who lost their lives in the military mutiny in 2001.”

More than 400 military personnel, as well as President Jioji Konrote, Ratu Epeli, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, senior army officers, the police commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho and military attachés from the United States and Australia were also present at the dinner.

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