October 12, 2003

Australia Remembers Bali Victims

Guilt lies only with the killers

On 12 October, 2002, radical Islamists set off a massive bomb in the city of Bali, Indonesia. The main purpose was to kill Westerners. The victims were primarily Indonesian and Australian, but were also New Zealeander, English, German, Korean, Danish, French, American, Japanese, Italian, and Dutch. A total of 202 people from 20 countries were murdered, alongside people who were horribly burned, sometimes crippled, but managed to survive. As Jake Ryan, a student who was there remembers it:

"Everyone looks the same when they're on fire. This is something I learned searching for my brother Mitchell in the first minutes after the Sari Club exploded a year ago on Sunday.

I couldn't find him. I couldn't tell if Mitch was one of the dozens of burning people dying outside the club.

A friend and I ran back inside and found a girl sitting in a circle of flame. She was holding someone whose skin was totally blackened. We yelled at her to reach out, so we could lift her from the fire, but she screamed back that she couldn't: 'I have no legs.' I looked down. Both her legs were gone. She died looking me in the eyes.

Further inside, I saw a hand reaching out and I grabbed it. The skin peeled off like a glove. I grabbed it again and pulled the person out . . . dead, and so badly burned it was impossible to tell if it was a man or a woman."

THE nation's leaders and Bali victims are encouraging Victorians to display orange ribbons in honour of those killed in the blasts.

"Orange is the Balinese colour for peace. By wearing a ribbon we can also acknowledge the suffering of the Balinese, who like Australians, are peace-loving people."

Nothing more needs to be said...now's the time for doing.

Thanks to Dean and Michele for the heads-up.

Posted by feste at October 12, 2003 04:51 PM | TrackBack
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