FROM the Prime Minister down, we Australians have tried, however inadequately, to put ourselves in the shoes of those who were there in those days following the horrific bombing in Bali.
Extensive media coverage has brought home the devastation, the suffering and the unanswered questions.
Yet shining through all the pain and chaos have been those qualities of courage, generosity, openness, mateship, good and the willingness to ask the hard questions that we know characterise our best selves.
On Sunday, October 20 I watched the moving coverage of the nationwide day of mourning where people of many backgrounds stood in solidarity with all those Australians, other nationals and Balinese who have lost family or friends.
Later the same day, I was in King George Square to commemorate the first anniversary of the sinking of the Siev-X a ship that carried towards our shores 400 men, women and children fleeing Afghanistan and Iraq.
I could not help but note the stark contrast in our response last year to these victims of terrorism.
Unmourned, their stories remain untold and their fate unexamined.
Can we hope that our future response will reflect more nearly and more universally those admirable qualities of the Australian character so evident in Bali and among our own?
Only then will we truly have answered our Prime Minister’s call on this day of mourning for us to ’embrace not just each other but all the peoples of the world in peace’.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.