TWELVE years ago three members of the Republic of Fiji Military (RFMF) Forces laid their lives on the altar of freedom during the attempted mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua.
The date was November 2 and for those old enough to remember, it was one of the darkest days in Fiji's history.
But that day and those three brave soldiers, though gone, will never be forgotten.
That was the message from Prime Minister and Commander of the RFMF Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama as he led the remembrance service for the three fallen soldiers — Corporal Simione Rawaileba, Private Osea Rokosirinavosa and Private Jone Temo Veilewai.
Speaking to soldiers and family members gathered for the dawn service at QEB yesterday, Commodore Bainimarama said the military would never forget the sacrifices of the three men and Fiji should not forget either.
He said while November was a month to remember those who sacrificed their lives in battlefields around the world, the sacrifices of the three men at home should also be remembered.
Commodore Bainimarama also said the army needed to keep serving people regardless of race.
With Fiji in the midst of formulating a new Constitution and on its way to elections in 2014, Commodore Bainimarama said the nation's dark days were being left behind. He said though some politicians and religious leaders were forgetting the sacrifices of the armed forces and the events of 2000, the nation needed to keep these memories alive.