202 Victims of 2002 Bali Bombing Commemorated at ‘Ground Zero’
A small and dignified group comprised of visiting tourists and the surviving family members of the tragic terrorist bombing of October 12, 2002 that killed 202 people from 20 countries gathered at “ground zero” in downtown Denpasar on Sunday, October 12, 2014. Marking the approximate location of that blast, the Bali bombing monument records the names of those who died 12 years ago and was where those attending the twelfth anniversary scattered flowers in solemn remembrance.
Also in attendance were Governor Made Mangku Pastika, the Consul General of Australia Majell Hind, the deputy-regent of Badung I Made Sudiana and the much-loved volunteer-hero of the Bali bombing recovery Haji Bambang Priyanto. As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the Kuta-Legian area normally busy with passing traffic paused for a moment’s silence to remember those who died from bombs places at the Sari Club and Paddy’s Club on the evening of October 12, 2002.
The chair of the Ni Luh Erniati, said at the simple remembrance that the group had gathered at the monument not remember, but to remind the public, government and the world at large that on that day, 12 years ago, had occurred a heartbreaking tragedy with repercussions still felt a dozen years later. The Governor of Bali and the man who, at the time of the bombing, served as Chief of Police in Bali and brought the Bali bombers to justice, invited all parties, including the families of the victims, to forgive the perpetrators of the tragedy and let go of any lingering feelings of anger and revenge.
“Whatever your religion, your color of skin or your profession – let is seek peace together,” said Pastika. Haji Bambang Priyanto, the celebrated volunteer who worked tirelessly in the Kuta community in the days following the bombing, told the press he understood the difficulties of forgetting the bombing of 12 years ago, even though those responsible have now been punished in accordance with the law. Priyanto added: “Not just the bombing in Bali 12 years ago, but even World War I that was centered in Europe and began on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918, is still difficult to forget due to its many victims.”
Now a retired civil servant who donates his time to the Indonesian Red Cross, said he found it difficult to forget the Bali bombing. Each year on October 12th Haji Bambang visits “ground zero” to pray and spread flower petals before the monument on which the names of the 202 who died are forever etched.
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