Daniel finally safe from evil as hundreds walk past grave
BRUCE and Denise Morcombe walked past Daniel's final resting place at Woombye on Friday declaring he was finally 'safe' from the evil preying on children.
And 1100 parents and children walked with them to declare they will remain vigilant to ensure what happened to Daniel doesn't happen to others.
Up to 1000 Walk for Daniel events are being held around the nation today but none was more powerful than that retracing the journey Daniel never made home almost 10 years ago.
It was the first time the walk actually went past Daniel's remains - a moment not lost on Bruce and Denise who paused to talk about their feelings.
"It is a day of mixed emotions,'' Bruce Morcombe said.
"For nine years we worked really hard as family and a community to find Daniel.
"Having found Daniel, we worked really hard to get Daniel's remains released to the family.
"And almost a year ago today, Daniel's remains were buried at the Woombye Cemetery and this year's walk is the first we have walked past.''
"At least we know where he is and that's he's safe,'' Denise said.
An array of dignitaries, including a heavily protected Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie, joined the walk.
Mr Newman told the crowd that it was important that everyone remembered the cost of Daniel's death - that he had missed out on 10 year's of life's joys: growing up, schooling, going into the workforce and having his first girlfriend.
"Those are the things he never experienced,'' Mr Newman said.
But he said the Day for Daniel was far more than that.
"We've got to protect our kids. We've got to do everything we can to make sure these evil things never happen again,'' the Premier said.
"That's why it is particularly gratifying to see so many people - because that's what you are saying, ladies and gentleman.''
The new Federal Member for Fisher Mal Brough read a tribute to Daniel and the work of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation on behalf of Australian Pime Minister Tony Abbott.
"This is the best tribute to Daniel and his life,'' he said of the support for Daniel.
"To Denise and Bruce, your strength is inspiring and we thank you for what you are doing.
"Today, the entire Parliament and the entire nation joins you in remembering Daniel and thanking you for your commitment to keeping our nation's children safe.'' Mr Abbott said in the letter.
Despite a perfectly time shower of rain at the start, hundreds of people dressed in red walked from from Sunshine Coast Christian College at Woombye to Briggs Park in Palmwoods.
The walk follows the same path that Daniel walked from Palmwoods to arrive at the Nambour Connection Rd in Woombye, where he waited for the bus to the Sunshine Plaza before being allegedly abducted and murdered.
Daniel Morcombe disappeared while waiting for a bus under the Kiel Mountain overpass bridge on December 7, 2003.
A man has since been charged with his abduction and murder.
The first Walk For Daniel was held in November 2005.
Since then, it's grown to become the become the opening event for the Day For Daniel.
Dignitaries attending this year included:
- Premier Campbell Newman
- Lisa Newman
- Fisher MP Mal Brough
- Sue Brough
- Attorney-General and Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie
- Buderim MP Steve Dickson
- Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson
- Glass House MP Andrew Powell
- Longman MP Wyatt Roy
- QPS Chief Superintendent Debbie Platz
- Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson
- Sunshine Coast Councillor Jenny McKay
- Daniel Morcombe Foundation Patron and Channel 7 News Presenter Kay McGrath
During the past nine weeks Denise and Bruce Morcombe have been travelling around the country promoting Child Safety initiatives to schools, State Education Ministers and the general community, in a bid to make Australia a Safer Place for all Children.
This week they are home on the Sunshine Coast to deliver their Keeping Kids Safe presentation to the Mountain Creek Primary School and to lead the Foundation's own special event, the Sunshine Coast Walk for Daniel, on what will be the 58th day of the "66 Day National Tour".
Then they will be off to Canberra to complete the final leg of the tour and meet with the Federal Education Minister in Canberra in November and continue working with the AFP to keep kids safe.