Coogee Memorial

Blue ocean
Holds my heart and tears
Reminds me of you
So far away

Today is the ninth anniversary of the 2002 Bali Bombings. The bombings killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and Bali is often considered our version of September 11, the moment when our part of the world changed forever.

Many of those killed and injured in the attacks came from Coogee, very near where we live in Randwick, and this memorial was erected in 2003 as a place of remembrance and reflection. It’s a beautiful, quiet spot overlooking the ocean and I often find myself spending time there when I’m in Coogee… I can’t think of a better tribute to their memory. I actually took this photo a few months ago, the day after Osama bin Laden died, and I thought I’d save it to post today.

In many ways it’s hard to believe it’s only been nine years since the bombings as so much has happened since. But even with Amrozi gone & so much time passed, it’s amazing how quickly the memories come back. I still remember that day so well… hearing about it on the news, seeing the fires burning, reading the names of the dead and missing in the local paper. Those memories will be with me for the rest of my life.

When I think about Bali I’m mostly filled with sadness now; for the suffering that was caused; for how the world has changed. But most often I find myself thinking of this memorial and what it represents, a place of peace and reflection, and I find myself hoping that one day, perhaps, the whole world might be as peaceful… that would be the true memorial.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Update: I wrote this poem as well for the fifth anniversary. I thought I’d share it again in case anyone would like to read it.

October 12 (Bali Bombings)

bali
Photo from Wikipedia

October 12 (Bali Bombings)
CJ Levinson

I wonder what you saw
When you looked at the world?
Did you see how far we’d come?
I wish I’d known how to open your eyes
So that you could really see

You asked me why I don’t believe in God
And I still don’t know if I can explain
All I know is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen
Took all my faith away

On October 12
October 12

I looked for you amongst the ashes
Of that terrible, broken place
But the smoke caught in my eyes and lungs
And pain was all I could see

I stayed up for days, trying to find an answer
But you were gone forever
And the last time I saw you
Is the last thing I’ll remember
Lying broken beneath bags of ice
Gone forever

On October 12
October 12

We were so young
Thinking we could live forever
We could never really see

But I’ll wait for you
And I’ll remember you
Forever

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