Why is history important, we may wonder?
Why do we need to understand or learn about our past?
These are important questions.
For in the answers sit a crucial part of our lives, who we are, and how we reached where we are today.
It is imperative that we realise the important place history has in our lives because we are the past.
We are part of the end product of all that has happened in our country.
It is important that we appreciate the fact that we are who we are today because of the actions of our forefathers and all those who lived well before us.
In some ways, our actions are guided by our past.
We may ponder on the issue of eventualities and what would have happened had our parents not met?
We may wonder about possible scenarios and what would have happened if the chiefs of Fiji had not ceded our country to Great Britain on October 10, 1874.
Or what if the many young men who joined the allied forces during World War II had not gone abroad?
Or what would have happened if no missionaries had arrived in our country?
Fiji as we know it now probably would never have existed.
Thus it is fair to say that we will understand who we are by looking back at history, studying it and appreciating the many lessons we can learn from our past.
To do so allows us to relook at our failures in the past and work out ways to improve for the future.
To this end, it is shocking and shameful that there are people prepared to deface a piece of history in the Old Capital of Levuka.
The Independence Day plaque which was targeted by thieves at Levuka may be in safe hands now.
However, it is the thought that counts. And in this case, it is the thought to steal an important part of our history that is upsetting.
Understandably our history is important, but so is our willingness to appreciate and protect it.
If reports suggesting a link to scrap metal theft are true, then we are sadly lacking in pride and awareness of the important things that make us who we are.
On the other side of the divide sits the issue of why this incident was ever allowed to happen.
And for what? Our history for scrap metal cash?