Bomb victims will not be forgotten



The Byron News' JANN BURMESTER, was at Kuta Beach on Tuesday at the service to mark the second anniversary of the Bali bombings

As the words to Waltzing Matilda rang out, many in the crowd could no longer hold back their emotions.

They wept openly, comforted by family and friends.

All were moved, it was an emotional time - two years to the day since so many innocent lives were lost on the once idyllic island paradise of Bali.

Hundreds of people from all over the world lined Jalan Legian in Kuta, Bali, to commemorate the second anniversary of the Bali bombings which killed 202 people including 88 Australians.

Byron Bay businessman Barry Wallace lost his daughter Jodi in the bombings which tore apart the popular Sari Club and Paddy's Bar.

Former Lismore lad, Dan Braithwaite, lost his good friend Tom Singer to the bombs.

Dan and several other mates had made the trip to Bali for the commemorations.

"Tom was my mate, everything we do today is for him," Dan said.

"This is my first trip here, it is a beautiful place and I will be back."

Tom was helped from the burning inferno by Byron Bay's Hannabeth Luke, but he was severely burnt and he died several weeks later in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Dan said it was an emotional day.

"I have been here since 8am, the ceremony was really nice," he said.

On high alert, the memorial site, opposite the former Sari Club site was surrounded by hundreds of police.

For two days before the anniversary police arrived in truckloads and Jalan Legian was closed to traffic.

Everyone entering the site, especially from Poppies Lane 11, were searched by police. Police helicopters patrolled the skies.

The anniversary celebrations were attended by the world's media and many foreign diplomats.

Dozens of floral wreaths from embassies who lost citizens in the bombings were placed at the foot of the memorial.

As a sign of respect, most businesses were closed for the day and the Balinese were dressed in ceremonial costumes.

It was a day of high emotion - remembering those who lost their lives in such a tragic way but for me it was a day of hope - hope that peace will once again reign on this Island of the Gods and that we never witness such scenes of bloodshed and horror ever again.


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