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Sunday, 20 October, 2002, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
A nation in mourning
Relatives at memorial ceremony in Sydney
The whole country has been rocked by the tragedy

This was the day the whole of Australia stood side-by-side with those touched by last Saturday's devastation.

Man wearing a Bali shirt and carrying the Australian flag
Many Australians now consider themselves to be at war
The dominant theme here has been the desire for justice and tolerance not revenge.

Some 2,000 people attended a special service at a sports ground at Coogee, a beachside suburb of Sydney.

The lush arena is flanked by palm trees and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

The sunny scene was in stark contrast to the sadness that filled almost every face.

The ground is home to the local rugby club that lost six team members in Bali.

Many in the crowd wore sprigs of wattle, Australia's floral symbol, as a sign of unity. Others were draped in the nation's flag.

Time for reflection

For a gathering of so many people, it was remarkably quiet.


We trust the arm of justice will be long and will reach across the latitudes and oceans to find and punish the guilty

Bob Carr, Premier of New South Wales

Today was a time for reflection.

Many Australians now consider themselves to be at war. It is a most unusual conflict.

No-one knows for sure who the enemy is, what it's motives are and what vicious depths it can reach.

People of all faiths and nationalities turned out together across this vast country to remember those killed on 12 October.

'Fight must continue'

Around Australia's coast, beachgoers observed a minute's silence as lifeguards sounded alarms and groups of surfers paddled out to scatter flowers and remember the victims of Bali, which has long been a surfing paradise.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard (left) with his wife Janette attend a national day of mourning service in Canberra
John Howard vowed to fight terrorism

In the nation's capital, Canberra, Prime Minister John Howard and his wife lit candles on behalf of the families of the dead, missing and injured.

In a nationwide address, Mr Howard said the fight against terrorism must continue in the name of those who died in Bali.

Mr Howard said his government would not flinch in its support for Washington's war on global terror, despite concern from some religious leaders here that such a stance was making Australians more vulnerable to attack.

The Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, said the international community had a duty to catch the bombers.

"We trust the arm of justice will be long and will reach across the latitudes and oceans to find and punish the guilty. We trust that will be soon," he told the memorial service at Coogee beach.

Nation's trauma

One of the survivors of bombing told the BBC the national day of mourning will help ease the pain.

But he warned that "dark days of depression" could stalk those on the emotional frontline of this tragedy in the coming weeks, months and years.

For some, the anguish may never go away. A permanent memorial will be built and an annual day of remembrance will be held.

This has been one of the most testing weeks in Australia's post-war history. There will be more difficult times ahead.

The country faces more than 100 funerals when the dead are finally returned home.

The first Australian to be repatriated for burial has arrived in Adelaide from Denpasar.

Escorted by close relatives and her coffin draped in an Australian flag, the body of 19-year-old Angela Golotta was brought back home.

The teenage shop assistant would have celebrated her 20th birthday last week.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Donna Larsen
"Across the nation the scene of grief has been repeated"
Australian Prime Minister John Howard
"The dominant feeling is one of grief and sadness"

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See also:

20 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Oct 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
19 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
17 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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