Friday marks the tenth anniversary of the Bali bombings. Memorials will be held all over Australia, and a service will be conducted in Bali. Up to 1500 people are expected to attend the service in Bali, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Police in Bali have readied 1200 officers to provide security at the event, including 100 from the counter-terrorism squad.
The Bali bombings took place on 12 October 2002. Three bombs were detonated. The first was a suicide bomb inside a popular club, the second was a much larger car bomb outside the club, and the third was a smaller device detonated outside the United States Consulate in Denpasar. 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians. A further 240 were injured. The majority of the victims were western holidaymakers in their 20s and 30s.
The site where the bombings took place has remained vacant since the event. The Australian-based Bali Peace Park Association is trying to buy the land to build a park in memory of those who died, but the owner is asking for a large sum of money. The site is currently being used as a temporary carpark, with signs spray-painted on the walls stating: “This area strictly not public toilet, but ladies are welcome.”
I’m not sure that it’s my place to have a personal opinion on the Bali bombings. If I did, it would simply be to echo the feelings of most of you, by condemning such acts of extreme cowardice and hatred. It would also be to give voice to the hope that we don’t see another tragedy similar to this for many years to come.
What I would like to do is pay tribute to those who died during the attack. To the 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 24 Brits, 7 Americans, 3 New Zealanders and the many others from all over the world. I would also like to pay tribute to the families and friends of the victims, who live with this tragedy every day.
You can leave your own message of condolence or tribute below in the comments section.