Mum, kids, hon­our their dad

Fiji Sun - - Nation - ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA arieta.vakasukawaqa@fi­

Daddy is rest­ing in God’s lov­ing arms. This is how Jokapeci Vakalaca re­sponded to her chil­dren when they ask her about their fa­ther’s where­abouts. Her hus­band died in March while serv­ing in the Bri­tish Army in Kenya. Ms Vakalaca and her four chil­dren were among fam­i­lies of fallen sol­diers who were part of the Re­mem­brance Day Me­mo­rial Ser­vice at the Na­tional War Me­mo­rial in Veiuto in Suva yes­ter­day. She said life had been a tough jour­ney for her chil­dren when their fa­ther died. “Ev­ery day they will start ask­ing me ques­tions to tell them if their fa­ther is go­ing to re­turn or whether there is a chance they will be able to see their fa­ther again. “As a mother, it breaks my heart know­ing that my hus­band has gone for­ever and my chil­dren will never see him again,” Ms Vakalaca said. They are cur­rently fi­nanced by the Bri­tish Army, but for Ms Vakalaca life is not the same.

“He fought his bat­tle till the very end and this is some­thing that will al­ways en­cour­age me to step up to his role. “I am so proud of my hus­band’s sac­ri­fice and what he has done even though he was not in the Fi­jian mil­i­tary, he was a peace­keeper.

“I al­ways tell my chil­dren that their fa­ther is in heaven and safe in God lov­ing arms, but one day I hope that my chil­dren will grow up to un­der­stand and come into terms with the death of their fa­ther,” she said. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Taniela Vakalaca, 10, and Lat­ifa Vakalaca, 8, wear their late fa­ther, Saiyasi Vakalaca’s medals dur­ing the Re­mem­brance Day Me­mo­rial Ser­vice in Suva yes­ter­day.

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