A very special day

RFMF Commander Viliame Naupoto makes his way to lay a wreath at the National War Memorial Site during the Remembrance Day Service in Nasese, Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Yesterday was a very special day in global history. It holds a special place in the story of our world. The day holds a story of horror, change, and of the ultimate sacrifice.

Unfortunately though many of us do not realise this.

The significance of yesterday will probably be lost to many people.

Thousands will probably never appreciate what the day means to the world, and how much value should be placed on it. On the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, millions of people around the world remember thousands of men and women who fought for what they believed in at the beginning of the last century.

We are indebted to them.

The pages of history tell us about the horrors in the trenches of the Great War, or World War I. Each year we have an opportunity to acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of brave soldiers who perished in a war that has been tagged man’s greatest cruelty to humankind.

Today, sadly, many of our young people know little or nothing at all about World War I. It is unfortunate that many youngsters don’t know where the Great War was fought? Or what Remembrance Day means? As the years go by, the number of brave men and women who survived will continue to diminish.

The horrors of the trenches on the frontlines of the Great War may never be truly appreciated by us now. Modern wars happen “far away”.

We read about them on the internet, in newspapers, or watch them on television, in the safety of our homes. Conflict zones are more visible because of the advent of the digital age, and journalists who risk their lives daily to bring the troubles of the world to our living room. Flanders in Belgium saw some of the greatest loss of life in the World War I.

Men died because of different ideals and thousands made the ultimate sacrifice. Yesterday we marked the official end of World War I in 1918.

Our veterans of many wars are almost all gone now and some of us are left with reverence towards them. Surely we can live with an important lesson to be kind to our fellow human beings.

We should be living life to the brim, for ourselves, our loved ones and for our nation. Such days are important because they keep alive the memories of men and women who helped give us the freedom we enjoy today.

Lest we forget. Yesterday was also a special day for Muslims around the country. We celebrated the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. Muslims believe the prophet was a perfect example of being upright, merciful, compassionate, truthful, brave, generous, and distant from all evil character. Surely we can all benefit from Prophet Mohammed’s teachings. There are many challenges for Muslims around the globe.

Prophet Mohammad’s teachings are aimed at nurturing peace, harmony and mutual respect for one another. These are the basic tenets of religions. We live in a multiracial country, where religion, cultural and traditional identity and values are appreciated.

We have grown up alongside one another, appreciating many things, making us a special nation of people who have learnt to live together. Such moments in time should motivate us to learn about, and appreciate other religions.

Think about it!

Despite the many different religions we follow, and our racial make-up, we share one common factor, and that is our ability to live in peace and harmony with each other.

People of faith have an important role to play in the order and conduct of our society and Government, as individuals and congregations.

We live in a country that is diverse in many things, from religion, to tradition and culture, and racial composition.

In the face of our differences, we should promote love, understanding and mutual respect for one another. Inter-religious harmony is important for peace and tolerance in our country.

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