“IT MEANS A LOT”
The terrorist attack did not only affect Indonesians but also holidaymakers from 21 other nations. Some mourners flew all the way from countries like Australia and the United Kingdom to participate in the ceremony. Eighty-eight of the 202 victims were Australian, while 20 were from the UK.
Australian retiree Danny Hanley, who lost two daughters to the attack, said he has been coming to the annual commemoration every year except in 2020 and 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and international travel halted.
“I’m happy I’m here for the 20th (anniversary). It means a lot,” Mr Hanley told CNA. “Coming here has helped me all these 20 years. You get some respite from the pain. But you never get over it fully.
Mr Hanley brought with him a bouquet and a photograph of his two daughters to the site of the bombings in Bali’s popular tourist area of Kuta, where a monument made out of carved sandstone and marble now stands.
The retiree also left a note on the bouquet: “To our beautiful girls Renae & Simone. It is twenty years on and not a day has gone by without thinking of you both, and how we lost two treasures. Our hearts will cry for you forever.”
The foot of the monument was covered with flowers, letters, photographs and candles on Wednesday morning. These items were left there by dozens of family members who had been visiting the monument since Monday.
Meanwhile, the predominantly Hindu Balinese community left flower offerings and incense at the monument after they made their prayers to the deceased.
On Oct 12, 2002, two bombs exploded within seconds apart at about 11pm on a busy Saturday evening.
The two suicide bombers responsible for pulling the trigger had targetted two locations which were roughly opposite each other: Paddy’s Pub and Sari Club. The two were at the time packed with local and international tourists.