Roko honours hero dad

VETAIA Roko, 72, from Naitasiri attended his first ever Remembrance Day Commemoration to honour his fallen father at the National War Memorial in Suva yesterday.

Mr Roko, who made the journey from Naqara Village in Vunidawa, said he came to remember his father, late Corporal Malakai Namilamila for his sacrifice and dedication while serving the country.

“I am here today (yesterday) as you can see on my jacket, I have his (late dad’s) medals on. This is my first time here to attend the celebrations. I managed to collect some of his medals from my relatives. This is a very special moment for me ,” Mr Roko said.

“My father served in the military from 1939 to 1945 in the first battalion, 16 platoon. During his time, he served in the Solomon Islands.”

Mr Roko comes from a family that has a long list of its members who have served the country.

“My two brothers also served for the military in the Middle East and they are retired now.

“When my father came back from his mission, then I was born in 1946.

“He passed away in 2008 and I am proud of his achievements,” he said.

“It’s an emotional feeling right now to be standing here and seeing him being honoured together with the other fallen soldiers who had died during battle.”

Members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and the Fiji Navy remembered the ex-servicemen who fought during the World War I and II in two separate Remembrance Day services in Suva yesterday.

The first service was held at the First National War Cemetery at Reservoir Rd, while the second service was held at the Second National War Memorial site, Battery Rd in Nasese which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, military personnel and surviving veterans.

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