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    King of Tonga George Tupou V laid to rest

    11:57 AM, Mar 27, 2012   |    comments
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    NKU'ALOFA, TONGA (CNN) -- The King of Tonga is laid to rest in an elaborate funeral procession.

    Carried by his people King George Tupou V made his final journey up a road he'd travelled so many times. For some the grief was hard to bear as they escorted their king for the last time. One person says, "He give us a free life. It's hard for me to hold back my tears because I never forget him in my life."

    The chief undertaker Lauaki directed his men with their burden. Their role is one weighted in tradition. A thousand men have been picked to carry the king's coffin, and it's such heavy and dangerous work they have to rotate them 150 at a time.

    And following in his late brother's footsteps the new king, King Tupou VI now has a lifetime of responsibility ahead of him. The military the late king loved so much led his coffin to the same tombs where his father was buried only six years ago.

    In front of international dignitaries and thousands of people the two hour ceremony was one driven by Christianity.

    But in the end it was Tongan tradition which laid the king to rest. Dr. Malakai Koloamatangi says, "I think there is great hope for Tonga. We have been able to wipe the slate clean, and we have laid the foundations, and I think tonga is moving forward from here."

    As one life has ended the Tongan people are now looking towards the future.

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