Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka joined thousands of Fijians at Suva’s Albert Park this morning to celebrate Fiji’s 53rd Independence Day.
The event, with the theme “Rebuilding Fiji Together,” showcased the unity and resilience of the Fijian people.
The national celebration commenced with a vibrant march from the flea market, where Fijians from all walks of life gathered to march proudly signifying the diversity and inclusivity that defines our nation.
The celebrations reached its peak with a grand parade by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) showcasing their discipline, precision, and commitment to protecting our beloved Fiji.
The parade by the 400-plus RFMF personnel was reviewed by the Chief Guest, His Excellency the President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere following the trooping of the Colours of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR).
The Trooping of the Colours is a tradition deeply rooted in military history, dating back to the 17th century. Originating from battlefields, this ceremonial display holds profound significance. The Colours, representing the heart and soul of the regiment, were trooped with reverence, symbolizing the bravery and sacrifices of those who have defended our nation throughout history.
A 21-gun salute followed-suit to conclude the auspicious occassion.
Prime Minister Rabuka, in a statement, expressed his gratitude to the Fijian people for their unwavering spirit and dedication to rebuilding our nation.
He emphasised the importance of unity and working together to overcome the challenges we face and our commitment to the “Pacific Zone of Peace” which embodies the very essence of our commitment to peace, mutual respect and unity in our Blue Pacific region.
“Today, as we celebrate our independence, we are reminded that peace is not only the absence of conflict but also the presence of cooperation and understanding among our people”, said Prime Minister Rabuka.
“This year’s Fiji Day theme, “Rebuilding Fiji Together,” reflects not only our aspirations but also the indomitable spirit that has guided us through the years.
“It underscores our commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder, forging a brighter future for all Fijians.”
The Fiji Day celebrations also featured cultural performances, traditional games, and a variety of food stalls showcasing the diverse culinary delights of Fiji. Families and friends gathered to enjoy the festivities, creating a vibrant and joyful atmosphere.
The event also served as a reminder of the progress Fiji has made since gaining independence, as well as a reflection on the work that lies ahead. It highlighted the importance of preserving our cultural heritage while embracing the opportunities of a modern and interconnected world.
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked all Fijians for their continued support and commitment to Fiji’s development. He urged everyone to remain united, resilient, and determined as we forge ahead towards a brighter future.