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October 11, 2012

Australian PM : Julia Gillard 's Message

Speech to the Bali Bombings Tenth  Anniversary Memorial Service

Ms. Julia Gillard makes an emotional address at  the Bali Memorial 
Your loss is not forgotten 

Today, we gather to commemorate the worst terrorist attack our nation has ever known.
88 Australians died here. And they did not die alone.
38 Indonesians died with them.
In all, 202 lives were lost and more than 200 were injured.
The bodies of the dead and the living bore wounds more often seen in wartime.
But these were not soldiers.
Our fellow Australians – those lost, those hurt – were doing nothing more than seeking a few carefree days amid full and busy lives.
They had come to a place loved for its sunshine and uncomplicated joy.
A place, like London and Gallipoli, where something of the Australian spirit dwells upon another shore.
This is what the Bali bombers struck at here.
On September 11, terrorists attacked the great symbols of American prestige.
Here in Bali, they attacked our people and through them, sought to overwhelm our values.
Here on these bustling streets, they inflicted searing pain and grief that will never end.
But even as the debris fell, it was obvious the attack on our sense of ourselves – as Australians, as human beings - had failed.
Rescuers ran towards the terror.
Volunteers extended their hands by the hundred, Indonesians and Australian alike.
A remarkable medical rescue effort swung into place.
A thorough policing effort methodically dismantled the terrorist network responsible.
And our two countries drew closer than we ever had before.
Amid the horror, it was a time for heroes. Like Peter Hughes and Jason McCartney, victims who became rescuers.
Like the Sanglah Hospital staff who provided frontline care in those first critical hours.
Or Len Notaras, Fiona Wood and their colleagues who were angels of healing back at home.
It was a time for leaders too.
President Megawati and then Minister Yudhoyono were quick to embrace international cooperation and a decisive security response.
Prime Minister Howard was a steadfast, reassuring voice for Australians in those dramatic days, and it is very fitting that he is here today.
Police Inspector General Pastika and Commissioner Keelty gave us confidence that justice would be done.
Ten years later and we witness today another sort of courage: the courage it has taken for the survivors and families to make this pilgrimage.
The physical journey by plane has been easy but the inner journey is wrenchingly hard.
This is a day of contesting emotions, from anger and unamended loss to forgiveness and reconciliation with a bitter past.
Wounds and scars abound, healed and unhealed.
But nothing can replace the empty seat at your family table.
The graduations and christenings you will never know.
And the fault line that will always divide your lives into two halves: “before” and “after” Bali.
There are, at least, some fragments of comfort on this day of recollection and return.
There is peace in this island, and the knowledge that millions still come here for the same reasons you and your loved ones did.
And perhaps there is a grim reassurance in knowing that the terrorists did not achieve what they set out to do.
They did not undermine Indonesian democracy, which has only grown stronger across the passage of a decade.
And though our vigilance is greater, we have not surrendered the freedoms that brought us here in the first place.
We were hurt and so were our friends, but we did not falter.
Instead, we endured and found strength in each other.
With that strength, we embrace those who suffered in Bali and lost so much.
With that strength, we affirm the endurance of our ideals.
Because in the end, terror is not beaten by policing or force of arms alone.
We prevail because we have a better way.
We prevail because our beliefs endure.
Terrorists have killed and maimed thousands around the world.
But they will never sunder or displace a single ideal.
So today we return here in remembrance, but we also gather in quiet defiance.
We will never forget all that we lost.
We will hold fast to that which remains:
To our determination as a free people to explore the world unbowed by fear; to our resolve to defeat terrorism; and to our duty to care for each other. 

Mr Brett Farmer, Australian Consul-General in Bali
Message from Julia Gillard 
by Julia Gillard  

I ARRIVED back in Australia from Bali on Friday, October 11, 2002. My sister and I, my nephew and a friend of his had been there for a holiday. I stayed in Ubud.

My sister and I walked through the rice fields and the countryside with a Balinese guide. He showed us his village and his family home; he told us how he had left his village at the age of 14 to live and work at the hotel at which we were staying. When he had left home he was younger than the nephew I was travelling with. As payment for his work as a houseboy, the hotel owner had paid his school fees, and 16 years later, he was still at work there. We talked about the future of tourism in Bali and how important visitors were to his work and life.
When I woke up at home on Saturday the 12th, I could still feel the warm, humid Balinese air. I could still see in my mind's eye the Hindu offerings which are everywhere as you walk around the streets. I could still hear the voices of the Balinese people in restaurants and in the streets making a fuss of the children who visit.
And then on Sunday morning, all those memories changed. The warmth and humidity that we had loved took on a different meaning as we watched people carry bags of ice into the makeshift morgues.
The streets of Kuta that had been the site of simple family pleasures for us became a place where people desperately searched for their loved ones, living and dead. I could only imagine how my family would have felt if our holiday had been timed slightly differently: I could picture my parents desperately trying to find out whether members of their family were safe.
This was the torment that so many Australian families went through on that dreadful day. And, of course, it is not just Australians who suffered: many Balinese were killed and injured, along with the nationals of many other countries.
Those of us who know Bali always felt that there was something particularly perverse and terrible in a violent attack against people in such a peaceful and welcoming place.
When I left Bali 10 years ago, I looked forward to returning there one day.
Today, I return to Bali for a very sad duty, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Families will be travelling there. Many dignitaries will gather to pay their respects. It will be a day in which we remember what that moment was like for Australians.
I will be there to remember the worst and the best in human life. The worst: this shocking murder of innocent people by fanatics motivated by hate and trying to spread that hate to all. And the best: the courage and compassion of so many ordinary people caught up in this extraordinary event.
The families and the friends of those who died and those who were grievously injured will be there to remember the day their life changed. There is always this divide in their lives: this line between the days "before Bali" and "after Bali". I hope that, amid the sorrow and pain they will feel this week, they will also be able to hang on to the joy and love of their old life.
At our best, Australians are a brave and carefree people: we have built a great nation at home, and when we travel the world we are welcome wherever we go.
When I've been lucky enough to travel overseas, I always smile when I hear someone say "the Australians are here". We show an optimistic and resolute face to the world. No one ever complains that we are too quiet.
The people who attacked us in Bali wanted to kill the Australians who were there — but they wanted to change the rest of us as well. The terrorists wanted to make us people who hate. They wanted to divide us against each other, they wanted to divide us from our friends in Bali, in the rest of Indonesia and the world.
They failed, and they failed for a reason, because we are better than that and we are better than them. In the worst of circumstances, Australians did what we always do: we stuck together, we took care of each other, we took care of our friends.
I hope all Australians, wherever you are, take a moment to pause and reflect on all that we lost that day.