Bali bombing victims remembered on tenth anniversary

 

The Bali bombings left an “indelible mark” on Britain's national memory, Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire said today.

Mr Swire joined relatives and friends of the 28 Britons who lost their lives on October 12 2002 to mark the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.

A total of 202 people, including 28 Britons, were killed on October 12 2002 and more than 204 injured when the al Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group detonated bombs at two packed Balinightspots.

Hundreds of people, including Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as well as Britain's ambassador to Indonesia, gathered today for a ceremony on the island, where more than 2,000 police and military, including snipers, guarded the service amid security concerns.

And in London, families and friends of the British victims attended a closed ceremony at the memorial to the victims of the bombings, at St James's Park.

They were joined by Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire, who made a brief speech before laying a wreath.

He told the gathering: "The cold, calculated and cruel nature of the attack, targeting primarily young innocent travellers, has left an indelible mark on our national memory.

"I am reminded of it as I pass this memorial each morning on my way into the office. The 202 names inscribed here include also the Indonesian bystanders - those who were not targeted, but killed nevertheless. The names include people of 23 different nationalities and from all six continents.

"They do not include the names of those who remained unidentified. But our thoughts go out to those from whom they were so suddenly taken.

"The bombers hoped to spread terror - and indeed they did. But the legacy of those crimes is not terror. The legacy is the stories of bravery about those who compromised their own safety to help rescue the injured.

"It is the solidarity of people and governments all around the world - of different races, religions and political beliefs - who deplored the attacks and all they stood for, and who mark this sombre anniversary today.

"The legacy is the bereavement left behind by the 202 men and women whose lives were cut tragically short and the relentless work done by their loved ones to commemorate them.

"We remember the dead here in London alongside many of the victims' family members and friends present, and with representatives of many of the 22 other countries in mourning."

Diplomats from other nations that lost people, as well as relatives, also laid wreaths, before attending a brief reception at the Foreign Office.

Maggie Stephens' son, Neil Bowler, 27, was on a rugby tour when he died in the bombings.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mrs Stephens, 61, from Worcester, said: "Neil was working for the Economist, he was living in Singapore and he played recreational rugby for the Singapore Cricket Club. They took a team of 15 to the annual Bali Tens rugby tournament.

"They took 15 and eight of them were killed, all young men."

Of the 10th anniversary, she said: "The families worked very hard to get this memorial put up which I think is a good way to remember our loved ones.

"We often come to London and we often come to the memorial. It's very special for the families to come together because nobody else, unless you've experienced something like this, nobody knows how you feel.

"There is a sense of camaraderie from being with people who are in exactly the same boat as you are."

Relatives of the 28 British victims also organised a service at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden today, which Mrs Stephens will attend.

"We'll all be together then, and then we, as a family, are going to meet up with quite a few of Neil's friends who are now back in the UK to have a rum and coke in his name, or two."

Some relatives of victims are calling for the final suspect linked to the attacks - Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, who is being held in Guantanamo Bay - to stand trial.

Susanna Miller, whose brother Dan, 31, died in the attacks, while his wife Polly was badly burned, called for open justice for Hambali, claiming his nine-year detention without charge by the US is an "open travesty of human rights".

"We find ourselves in this slightly curious position of fighting for the rights of one of the people responsible for the deaths of our relatives," said Ms Miller.

The 45-year-old, who lives in north London, visited the Foreign Office last week to discuss the issue and a spokesman confirmed it is being looked into.

She said many relatives had not travelled to Bali for the anniversary because of security concerns.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine