Australians remember Bali bombing victims

Last updated 15:05 12/10/2012
10 YEARS ON: Australian relatives of victims from the 2002 Bali bombings stand in front of the Bali Bomb Monument in Kuta.
Reuters
10 YEARS ON: Australian relatives of victims from the 2002 Bali bombings stand in front of the Bali Bomb Monument in Kuta.

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The 88 Australians who were killed in the Bali bombings ten years ago have been remembered in Canberra.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce told a memorial service in the Great Hall of Parliament House that Australians everywhere were gathering today ''as one'' to comfort each other and remember those who lost their lives or were injured in the terrorist attack.

On October 12, 2002, 202 people, including 88 Australians, were killed when two bombs tore apart Paddy's Bar and the Sari Club in Bali. Many others were injured.

''That fateful night, the unspeakable horror of terrorism came to our backyard,'' Ms Bryce said. ''We remember futures cut short ... lives left shattered.''

Ms Bryce told the service - attended by survivors and family members, as well as diplomats and officials - that despite the grief, the Australian spirit was strong and resilient.

''Time and time again, Australians rise to the challenge. We have turned our face to our foe,'' she said.

Acting prime minister Chris Evans said that today, all Australians were grieving.

''We remember and we honour those who lost their lives,'' he said.

Senator Evans told those gathered for the ceremony that the day of the attacks had became ''a day of resolve'' to defeat terrorism and defend democracy.

''Australians refused to be cowered,'' he said. Senator Evans added that the bombs still left terrible wounds ''of the body and of the mind and spirit''.

Each life lost in the bombings would be missed, he said.

''Each life, cruelly taken, all precious, all deeply missed.''

Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop also remembered those who had lost their lives. ''While we grieve the loss of precious lives we also give thanks,'' she said.

During the ceremony survivors, family members and others placed flowers on a national memorial wreath.

Burns specialist Fiona Wood - who lead a team at Perth Hospital to save victims of the bombings - said it was a privilege "to help people on that day"."I think for me, this ten years, is a time to say thank you."

Dr Wood - who was named Australian of the Year in 2005 - remembered a young triathlete who was a victim of the bombings and whose injuries were "beyond comprehension".

When the woman woke from her coma, she asked if she would ever walk again. Dr Wood told the service that the woman eventually made it back to competing in triathlons.

"I see an energy across Australia in all sorts of areas. All you have do is look for it," she said.

Speaking from Indonesia, John Howard - who was prime minister at the time of the bombings - said he remembered the attacks vividly.  
 
He said it would always be "a moment of heartache", adding that one positive thing to come out of the bombings were new levels of cooperation between Australia and Indonesia. 
 
"It's almost as if Bali remains part of Australia," he said on Sky News.

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Mourners clutched each other for  support, holding flowers and fighting back tears at a memorial service attended by hundreds in Melbourne.

Families and friends of those killed, politicians and religious  figures came together at the multi-faith service at Victoria's  Parliament House on Friday.

Premier Ted Baillieu said the tragedy rocked the nation.''We remember that moment when those happily on holiday ... were suddenly victims of unspeakable terrorist attacks, unprovoked and deadly,'' he said.

Mr Baillieu said the tragedy was met with a compassionate response from Victorians who had inundated the front of Parliament  House with flowers.''It was a flower bed of love,'' he said.

The bombing, which had been aimed at dividing, had brought  Australians together, Mr Baillieu said.

''We must never forget what was meant to shatter us strengthened  us,'' he said.

Tragedy 'strengthens the fight against terrorism'

Candles have been lit at the Bali ceremony to remember the 202 people killed in the first Bali terror attacks 10 years ago today.

Dignitaries including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Indonesian  Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard are attending the service at Bali's cultural park in Jimbaran.

Bali Governor I Made Pastika welcomed the dignitaries, survivors and loved ones of victims to service, saying it is to honour and remember all 202 who were killed in the bombings at Paddy's Bar and  the Sari club in Kuta in 2002.

He said the tragedy still hurt, but had strengthened the fight against terrorism.

''The loss is not just giving us grief, it is also giving us the strength to fight terrorism and all other extreme activities,'' he  told the service.

''We do not condemn a certain religion, we condemn those people  who have done brutal violence in the name of religion.''

But he urged people to move on.

''I understand and realise that it is not easy to forget the tragedy, however, it is the time to forget so we can face a  brighter life in the future.''

Those killed in the attacks came from 22 countries. Australia  lost 88 while Indonesia lost 38.

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