On Saturday, November 02, 2002, Bali residents and visitors gathered on Kuta Beach, opposite the Hard Rock Hotel for a late afternoon of prayers, speeches, and music in memory of the 184 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack of Legian-Kuta on October 12th. The event Ė part of "A Thousand Steps to Bali" program to rebuild tourism eventually drew by its end an estimated 1,000 participants.
Starting in the late afternoon at 4 p.m., an initial group gathered on Kuta beach to hear words from tourism officials, prayers by Hindu and Moslem leaders, and inspiration songs including a contribution by Indonesian rock sensation - Nugie.
Taking advantage of special rates extended by Garuda Indonesia, - a large contingent of Jakarta celebrities flew to Bali to participate in the commemoration ceremony including Mr. Fikri Jufri, the founding editor of TEMPO Magazine; Mr. Setyanto P. Santoso, the chief of Tourism and Culture Promotion Board; and Mr. I Gede Ardika, Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic.
The afternoon began with Hindu chants and a prayer from Hindu priest. A proclamation reaffirming Bali as an "island of peace" and condemning the violent attack of 12th October was read by a group of national celebrities and representatives of local youth organizations in Bali.
Also included was a brief sermon by Aa Gymastiar, a well known Islamic television preacher, who called for solidarity and unity between all religious groups in the nation in confronting the tragedy of just 3 weeks earlier.
Police closed the streets from the beach to the bomb site, a distance of more than 1 kilometer, to allow the participants to undertake a solemn march led by a brass ensemble from Bali's Udayana University. At the scene of the devastation more prayers were offered and a candlelight vigil commenced as the sun set over the island.
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