A National Day of Thanksgiving has been declared for Tuesday, September 16th, for the nation to commemorate the release of the 45 Fijian United Nations Peacekeepers in Syria.
Fijians have been urged to hold services across the country, with a centrepiece National Service of Thanksgiving taking place at the National Stadium in Suva on Tuesday afternoon.
The multi-faith service – beginning at 4.30 pm – is open to everyone and will see contributions from all the main religions in Fiji – the Christian denominations, Hindus and Muslims.
The keynote address will be given by H.E the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, before a gathering that will also include the Prime Minister, political leaders and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
A special place of honour will be reserved for the families and friends of the 45 soldiers, whose bravery and fortitude has lifted the hearts of the entire nation.
A Ministry of Information statement said that while the focus of the celebrations would be at the National Stadium in Suva, Fijians were being urged to hold similar gatherings across the nation.
” Every Fijian joined hands to pray for the safe return of our men and those prayers have been answered. We all want to give thanks to God for their release and rejoice”, the statement said.
” We urge everyone who can attend the National Stadium to do so, including families with school children in Suva and the surrounding areas. It is a day of celebration and thanksgiving and a time to come together as a nation”, the statement said.
The gates of the National Stadium will be open from 3.30 pm and the public is requested to be seated by 4.15 pm.