Howard gives moving speech in remembrance of Bali bombings

THE bombs that ripped through Bali's Kuta nightclub district 10 years ago, taking the lives of 202 people, changed the lives of thousands of people.

But few more than Danny Hanley.

Mr Hanley lost two daughters in the attack - Ranae, 30, and Simone, 28.

Of the 88 Australians who perished in the terrorist attack, Simone was the last to die.

Suffering horrific burns, she died in Royal Perth Hospital 58 days after the bombs exploded.

Mr Hanley gave a reading at the 10th anniversary service in Bali on Friday on behalf of the families and friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

"When I hear of the 88 Australians who died I always shed a tear because my beautiful daughter, Simone, was number 88," Mr Hanley said.

His was one of a number of moving speeches during an emotional service that was attended by 1000 people at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke of the "grief that will never end" for both Australia and Indonesia.
But she said the terrorists failed to dent the resolve of either nation.

"Perhaps there is a grim reassurance in knowing that the terrorists did not achieve what they set out to do," Ms Gillard said.

"They did not undermine Indonesian democracy, which has only grown stronger across the passage of a decade.

"And though our vigilance is greater, we have not surrendered the freedoms that brought us here in the first place."

Ms Gillard praised the courage of the countless people who responded to the event, saying that "amid the horror, it was a time for heroes".

But she also was supportive of those who had returned to Bali 10 years later to pay their respects.

"Ten years later and we witness today another sort of courage; the courage it has taken for the survivors and families to make this pilgrimage," she said.

"The physical journey by plane has been easy but the inner journey is wrenchingly hard."

Ms Gillard also commended former prime minister John Howard, who, she said, provided unflinching leadership as the nation dealt with the calamitous events of 10 years ago.

She said Mr Howard was a "steadfast, reassuring voice for Australians during those dramatic days".

In an emotional speech Mr Howard told the service the attack had tested Australia's character and it had "passed with flying colours".

He echoed the sentiments of Ms Gillard when he said the bombings had brought Australia and Indonesia closer together.

"I salute the Australian spirit that came through at that time," Mr Howard said.

He urged Australians and Indonesians to unite "in our determination to oppose terrorism".

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the attack, which claimed the lives of 38 Indonesians, had "tested our resolve" but that "humanity had prevailed over hatred".

Later the names of the 202 victims were read out, followed by a minute's silence.



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