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Australia remembers Bali dead

By Grant Holloway, CNN Sydney

Many mourners wore a sprig of the native Australian wattle as a sign of respect
Many mourners wore a sprig of the native Australian wattle as a sign of respect

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SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- A nation fell quiet Sunday as millions of Australians paused for sad and silent reflection as they mourned those lost and injured in the Bali bombings a little over a week ago.

Flags flew at half mast and church bells tolled across the nation as people of all faiths and beliefs gathered for memorial services for the victims.

More than 180 people were killed in the suspected terror blasts, the majority of them young Australian tourists.

As many as 103 Australians are now believed to have died in the blasts and another 113 injured.

Many mourners wore a sprig of the native Australian wattle as a sign of respect, while others a green ribbon.

At midday on the Australian east coast (0200 GMT), all Australia observed a minute's silence.

The tribute seemed all the more poignant coming just hours after the first Australian body arrived back on home soil, that of 19-year-old Adelaide woman Angela Golotta.

Her coffin was draped in the national flag.

The main Sydney service was held at the Domain, a park area just to the east of the central business district.

The simple and moving memorial featured popular singers, a solemn detailing of the events in Bali and at one minute before midday a message from Prime Minister John Howard was read.

Howard asked Australians to pause for a moment to remember those who had been "wantonly and barbarically" taken away on the night of October 12, 2002.

He also asked Australians to "resolve to find those who committed this foul deed and bring them to justice".


Readings and tributes for the victims were also heard and the families and friends of those directly affected by the bombings placed flowers in a pool of water.

Howard and main opposition leader Simon Crean both attended Christian services in Canberra, the nation's capital, while Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock was scheduled to attend an evening service at Australia's largest mosque in Lakemba, Sydney.

Buddhist and Hindu temples across Australia also marked the day with silences, followed by ringing bells.

In Sharjah, Australian and Pakistan cricketers were to wear black armbands as a mark of respect as they battled out the third test match between the two nations.

An official national memorial service will also be held on October 24 in the Great Hall in Canberra's Parliament House.

The Governor-General Peter Hollingworth state governors, premiers and chief ministers, the Leader of the Opposition and other parliamentarians will attend along with representatives from the diplomatic corps, including those countries with citizens affected by the terrorist attack.

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