An Aussie flag bearing 88 small photographs hangs proudly on a ramshackle tin fence in Kuta’s main street, marking one small corner of a foreign field that will forever be Australian.
It marks what is now a car park, but 10 years ago was the Sari Club.
‘‘Remember the lost Australians,’’ reads a sign on the flag, which became a focal point this week for hundreds of Australians who flocked to Bali to remember 88 of their countrymen killed along with 114 others in the terrorist bombings of 2002.
The visitors seem drawn to the flag. Many stand before it in silence as they examine the smiling faces in the photographs.
Then they cross busy Jalan Legian to the official Bali memorial, close to Paddy’s bar, where the first of two nightclub bombings occurred.
There they stand by the fountain and read the names on the flower-decked memorial.
The visitors include Harry Wallace of Byron Bay, NSW, who lost his 29-year-old daughter Jodi in the attacks.
‘‘She was a vivacious young lady, a career girl,’’ Mr Wallace said.
‘‘She had only been here a few hours. She didn’t even get to sleep in the bed [in the room] she had booked into that afternoon.
‘‘I guess you can only say the government here found the people [terrorists], convicted them and put the worst to death.
‘‘I guess we’ve got to be thankful for that.’’
Some visitors, like Cinzia Zuin of Perth, did not know any of the victims.
‘‘But I can relate to them all,’’ she said. ‘‘I had been to the Sari Club many times, so it’s like it could have been me, or any of my friends.
‘‘It touches me every time. I am on the verge of tears right now.’’
Patrick Stewart, a former soldier from Brisbane, said it was important for Australians to continue travelling abroad.
‘‘If we let terrorists take control of us we will never leave our beautiful country,’’ he said.
At Denpasar’s Sanglah hospital, which dealt with the aftermath of the disaster, Sydney man Adam Condon and Daniel Mortonsen of Perth were revisiting the morgue where they helped identify the bodies of their dead mates from Sydney’s Coogee Dolphins rugby league club.
‘‘Walking in here this morning was overwhelming,’’ said Mr Condon. ‘‘I felt sick to my stomach as soon as I walked in, but I hope it helps to come here.’’
He recalled how he desperately tried to find his best mate Josh Iliffe among the body bags.
‘‘I did everything I could to go through the body bags and identify Josh and all the boys, so we could get them back to their families.’’
Mr Mortonsen, proudly sporting a memorial tattoo over his heart, recalled how devastated he felt viewing the bodies.
‘‘I was back and forth four times that day,’’ he said.
‘‘The bodies kept coming and coming. It was just too overwhelming.’’