Memorials sym­bol of Fiji-US re­la­tion­ship

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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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