Political leaders, community members, victims, and loved ones affected by the 2002 Bali Bombings gathered on Thursday evening to commemorate the 21st Anniversary of the attacks.
Hundreds of people came together at the Bali Bombing Memorial on Jalan Legian in Kuta, where the Acting Governor of Bali made impassioned statements about the importance of peace, tolerance, and forgiveness.
The anniversary ceremony was held at the Bali Bombing Memorial in Kuta. The annual commemoration ceremony was an opportunity for the local community, tourists and international residents to come together to remember those lost in the attack on 12th October 2002.
Many of those in attendance on Thursday night were survivors of the attack, and many family members and loved ones of victims also joined the event to pay their respects.
The attack killed 202 people, including 88 Australian citizens, most of whom were on vacation on the island at the time.
Amongst the victims of the attack were 38 Indonesian citizens and 23 people from the UK. A further 209 people were severely injured in the blasts.
Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, shared impassioned statements on the need to promote peace and forgiveness.
He said, “Let’s make peace with the past, forgive, and build a better future together.”
He continued “Let’s use this incident as a call to promote understanding of tolerance and love for fellow human beings.”
“In this reflection, we ask the universe to be given greater power in realizing eternal peace, make this memory a starting point for inspiration for our actions in building harmony.”
Acting Governor Jaya shared his gratitude for those people who continue to work to ensure that Bali is a peaceful and safe place for all.
He said “Thank you to all parties who have handled the Bali Bombing incident and prevented a similar incident from happening again. The bomb incident was an experience that should not be repeated.”
He added, “Bali as a tourist destination is very interested in ensuring that it is safe and comfortable where people [can] come and are free from worry, fear, threats and disturbances.”
@windlaketour Commemorating Bali Bombing 🇲🇨 #CapCut #bali #balitiktok #balibombingmemorial #legian #kutabali #indonesia #windlakesumatra ♬ Balinese Traditional Music Listen to Rindik Bali While Enjoying a Cup of Coffee (Acoustic) – Miracle777 Music
The anniversary event was also attended by international delegations who were in Bali for the AIS Forum Summit and the World Water Forum.
Both events have been attended by heads of state and intentional delegations. Representatives from around the world joined the Bali community in a shared prayer for peace among humanity.
Thursday’s event and calls for peace felt even more pertinent to many this week as conflicts around the world rage on.
@listnrau Today marks 21 years since the horrific Bali Bombings that took the lives of 202 people. 88 #Australians were killed in the attacks and their memories were honoured today at #Coogee in Sydney’s east. 🎧Shockwaves: The Bali Bombings podcast #balibombingmemorial #balibombings ♬ original sound – LiSTNR
Commemorative events were also held in Australia. At Coogee Beach at the Bali Memorial Statue, the community gathered together, joined by survivors of the attack, to honor those affected by the attacks.
White doves were released during the ceremony, 88 in total, one for each of the Australians who lost their lives in the attack.
Although twenty-one years have passed for many affected by the Bali Bombing both in Indonesia and across the world, the pain and trauma of the tragedy is still very raw.
Survivor Rob Meredith told reporters, “There was so much loss on that day, it’s hard when people say you’re a hero because you’re surrounded by so many people that you couldn’t help, you help as many as you can but you can’t help everyone and that why it’s so often hard.”
He added, “Every year on this day I wake up and I just think how important it is to be here and don’t take it for granted.”
Andrew Miller, another survivor of the attacks, shared “The more you go the more you learn to process it and live with it but it’s always going to be there.”
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