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Bali: A National Day Of Mourning

October 17, 2002

This is the text of a statement released by the Prime Minister, John Howard, regarding a National Day Of Mourning for the victims of the Bali bombings.

I hope that all Australians will observe in their own chosen ways, Sunday 20 October as a National Day of Mourning for those Australians and others who have died in the horrific terrorist attack in Bali on the 12 October and the many injured left bereaved and otherwise affected by this evil event.

I ask that Australians observe a minute's silence at 12 noon Australian Eastern Standard Time next Sunday. I am sure that television and radio services will mark this moment of silence in an appropriate way.

As a simple unifying tribute could I encourage the wearing of a piece of wattle during the day and also where possible the planting of wattle seeds as a quiet personal gesture of remembrance and reflection.

Church leaders of all denominations and faiths are encouraged to include a reference to the Bali atrocity in their services.

My wife and I will attend a morning service at St Paul's Church in Manuka.

There is of course nothing prescriptive about a National Day of Mourning.

Activities already planned for Sunday should go ahead perhaps with the inclusion of a suitable dedication or act of remembrance.

I am sure that many sporting clubs, especially football ones will mark the occasion given the tragic loss of life amongst young footballers of different codes.

The Australian National Flag will be flown at half-mast on Sunday on all Commonwealth buildings. I encourage others to follow suit.

The terrible events in Bali have saddened but not diminished the Australian nation or its people.

We are all saddened beyond words of proper description by the terrible wanton destruction of so many lives particularly young ones.

We send our love and support to those left grieving and especially those who wait for confirmation of terrible news about their loved ones.

Let us all in our different ways find time on Sunday in different communities in different parts of our nation to mourn the abrupt and brutal deaths of so many and reflect on our own lives.

I will shortly announce arrangements for a national memorial service to which, amongst others, it is intended to invite all State Governors and State Premiers.

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