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Red and White Beneath the Blue

12 Handicapped Divers Unfurl the Indonesian Flag at the Bottom of the Ocean.

(8/21/2010) Twelve handicapped divers from the Senang Hati Foundation successfully unfurled the red and white Indonesian national flag on the ocean's bottom to mark the 65th anniversary of the Republic's founding on August 17, 2010.

According to Beritabali.com, the 12 divers were accompanied in their patriotic quest by certified divers who witnessed the unfurling of a flag at a depth of around 7 meters below the waters of Tulamben, off the shore of the northwest regency of Karangasem in Bali.

Determined to demonstrate that physical infirmities are no impediment to the vigorous display of patriotic spirit, the flag was delivered to the deep by two divers Dayu Wiadnyani and Wayan Parwati. Then, four other handicapped diver Gusti Lanang Wirawan, Komang Astawa Aris and Wayan Sugiarto took responsibility for flying the colors of Indonesia below the waves. Also participating in the ceremony were Sang Ayu Nyoman Puspa, Kadek Candrawasih, Ketut Sudianti, Nyoman Rudiawan and Nyoman Budiarsa.

Shortly after resurfacing, one of the participants, Aris, shouted "Merdeka" or "Liberty" - the traditional greeting of Indonesian patriots.

Prior to the independence day event, the participants underwent several weeks of training provided by Afandi Junaedi, the Dive Master who has been training the group over the past three years.

This is the second time that the Senang Hati Foundation has undertaken a similar flag ceremony. The first event took place on Independence day in 2008 off Sanur beach in Bali's south.