 The President of the Returned Soldiers and Ex- Servicemen, Ratu Peni Volavola; 
 The Executives and Members of the Returned Soldiers and Ex- Servicemen; 
 Senior Officers of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces; 
 Distinguished Guests; 
 Ladies and Gentlemen. 

Miau Sa Bula Re, a very good morning and welcome to the State House. 

Today marks a very special day as we remember our fallen heroes as we launch our Poppy Appeal 2022.

Their journey and sacrifices have left with us memories to cherish and value particularly as we continue to recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.

As the world progresses and newer challenges are faced, the appreciation and acknowledgement of our fallen heroes and their contributions to our current civilization shall never fade. For this very reason we gather here today to launch the Poppy Appeal.

The red poppies as is well known were amongst the first to flower in the devastated battlefields in the First World War and the vivid red colour of the poppy came from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.

The poppy is an emblem of honour for those who gave of their lives in duty and service for their country and their fellow countrymen. It also represents hope and courage for those that are still fighting wars. Our fallen servicemen volunteered, served, fought and died for Fiji and today we also celebrate their legacies that would be remembered for generations to come.

Fiji significantly recognises the Red Poppy from the launch of the Poppy Appeal to Remembrance Day on the 11th of November. Globally, when one wears the red poppy it signifies the remembrance of our fallen heroes, to celebrate their legacy and further acknowledges their sacrifices so many years ago that have allowed our generations and those of our descendants peace and freedom, free of wars, and that gives a greater significance to Remembrance Day.

Wearing a poppy in Fiji also symbolises ones support for the Fiji Retired Soldiers and Ex-Servicemen’s Association and its cause most importantly as they provide welfare support to association members and their families.

Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion I encourage all Fijians to support this worthy cause as we approach Remembrance Day. Let us wear the poppy with pride and honour - acknowledging our fallen heroes and in the hope for continued peace for Fiji and all Fijians. It now gives me great pleasure to officially launch the Poppy Appeal for 2022!

May the Almighty continue to bless Fiji and each of us. Vinaka Vakalevu and Thank you all!