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Australia Mourns for Victims of Bali Bomb Attack - 2002-10-20

Australia is observing a day of national mourning Sunday in memory of the victims of the Bali nightclub bombing a week ago. Nearly 200 people were killed, more than half of them Australian. Flags are flying at half-staff and church services and memorial ceremonies are being held around the country.

At hundreds of services across this vast country, Australians remembered the dead, missing and injured from the Bali bombing one week ago.

In a nationwide address, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the fight against terrorism must continue in the name of those who died. "Let us remember the people for their love of life and what they gave to others and to their country. Let us resolve to find those who committed this foul deed and bring them to justice," he said.

Mr. Howard said his government's support for the U.S.-led war on global terror would not waver and that the Bali bombings were part of a worldwide terrorist operation which Australia can not combat on its own.

The prime minister said Australia would not buckle under the threat of terrorism. "Let us preserve the open, tolerant, harmonious, outward-looking, generous Australian society, for which Australia is so widely respected," he said.

A minute of silence was observed at midday followed by another minute of town hall and church bells ringing. At the beachside suburb of Coogee in Sydney, thousands of mourners packed into a small sports ground for a special service. Six members of the local rugby team were killed in the bomb attack.

The Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, has urged the international community to do all it can to catch the killers of so many innocent Australians. "These were good people and this a wonderful part of the world and we did not deserve to be so smashed of our hopes," he said. "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."

One survivor, who lost six friends in the bomb attack, told a memorial service that the day of mourning would help ease the pain, but he warned those touched by the tragedy would suffer 'dark days of depression' in the weeks, months and years ahead.

President Bush has offered The United State's solidarity with Australia. In a videotaped message to the Australian people, he promised to help track down those responsible for planting the bomb outside the packed Sari Club in Kuta Beach one week ago.