REMEMBER the fallen and remember their families who are forced to carry on without them.
That was the message from Fiji Ex-Servicemen's Association president Ratu Peni Volavola as Fiji's traditional Remembrance Day ceremony took place under an overcast morning sky on Sunday.
While Remembrance Day is marked as a time to remember soldiers who have passed away in the line of duty, Ratu Peni said special attention must also be given to the families left behind to carry on alone.
"Most of them have come back, some of them did not make it home, some of them have left behind their widows, orphans and what has Fiji done for them?" Ratu Peni asked.
He said the government of the day could only do so much for the retired servicemen. However, for the families of their comrades that died in the battlefield not much was being done.
"We are thankful that government has recognised their efforts and has made arrangements for quite some time through the After-Care funding scheme for them to receive some form of financial relief to help them out."
While the Ex-Servicemen's League continues to be grateful for all the assistance provided by government, Ratu Peni nevertheless acknowledged there was only so much the administration could do to assist former soldiers and their families.
"The assistance should also come from the business community, corporate organisations and schools," he said.
"If they can assist what government has already done, then I'm sure the association can reap the benefits out of this by carrying out fundraising activities with these various places that I am talking about."
Ratu Peni said the Ex-Servicemen's Association derived much of its income from the sale of the Poppy, adding that proceeds from sales this year would go towards assisting members with their housing.