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Memorials symbol of Fiji-US relationship

Memorials symbol of Fiji-US relationship
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Douglas Sonnek (midd,le), with villagers during the opening of the World War II memorials in Sabeto Village, Nadi on Tuesday. Photo: Litia Tikomailepanoni
August 19
08:04 2016

Taniela Naika remembers vividly American soldiers in Nadi during the Second World War.

He was only six-years-old then.

There were a lot of fond memories. But those memories were in danger of getting lost unless something was done to preserve them.

“Therefore with the help of the US Embassy we started to build memorials as these will prevent history from being lost,” said Mr Naika.

US Embassy’s deputy chief of mission Douglas Sonnek unveiled three memorials of the US Soldiers in Sabeto, Nadi, on Tuesday.

He said in modern times the main intent of memorials was to glorify the relationship built from the past.

“It is also to honour those who have died, having played an influential part in society to act as focal points of increasing understanding between two cultures,” he said.

Mr Sonnek said: “The history of the US and Fiji is much longer than what we often think. To inaugurate this memorial with you shows the shared time between the US states and the people of Fiji.

The memorial project was funded by a grant from the US Embassy, and was spearheaded by the Sabeto district rep, Mr Naika, turaga ni koro Samuela Naquto and Joseva Lalawa and aided by Peace Corps volunteer Tom Courtright.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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