Bali Bombing Memorial Monument – A Symbol of Hope

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Bali is used to headlining various tourist and travel magazines. The beautiful island maybe small in size but it is one of the biggest holiday destinations in the world. However, it was not the beaches, the amazing shopping nor the vibrant nightlife that brought Bali into the worlds spotlight on the 12th of October, 2002. That day will forever be etched into the minds of all Indonesians as a day of grief and mourning.

The Bali bombings of 2002 were the deadliest acts of terrorism to take place in Indonesian soil. A total of three bombs were detonated, two of which were placed around Kuta (a popular clubbing district) and one near the US embassy near Denpasar. 202 people were killed by the explosions and a further 240 people were injured. Of 202 deaths, 38 were Indonesians with the rest being foreigners. A number of members belonging to the Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamic terrorist group, were convicted for the crime and three members were given the death sentence.

The violent act of hatred in turn provoked many acts of heroism, and several outstanding individuals were given awards for their courage in the face of terrorism. A memorial was built on the grounds of the destroyed Paddy's Pub (another bar named 'Paddy's: Reloaded' was opened a little further along the street). The memorial was dedicated on the second anniversary of the bombings. Made of intricately carved stone, the memorial contains the name and nationality of all those who were killed during the bombings. The monument is particularly poignant at night when it is lit up. Survivors of the deceased and members of the community leave flowers and other offerings at the memorial.

The Kuta Karnival, is a nine day celebration centred around the memorial which provides an outlet for emotions. Refusing to bow down to terrorist acts, the Kuta Karnival is a celebration of life, and is supported by the entire community.

Tourists who would like to participate should book their accommodation in advance, as a room maybe hard to find closer to the date. There are many Bali luxury villas to choose from, although travellers should consider the accommodation provided by Alila Villas Uluwatu. The Bali resort villas are located on an elevated plateau offering gorgeous ocean vistas. It is the ideal retreat for those who want to leave the bustle of the city behind.
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