February 12, 2009

One minute for Australia, my 2nd land …

Let’s hope after all of these, the peace will come back to the land, just like the sweetness in the shot captured in the heart of Mel city on a sunny Xmas day.

Nation to mark day of tragedy

Brendan Nicholson
February 13, 2009

THERE will be a national day of mourning for the fire victims so Australia can grieve for Victoria’s dead.

“It is very important that the nation grieves,” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Parliament yesterday.

He said he had discussed the plan to recognise “the terrible events of the past few days” with Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and details were being worked out with the Victorian Government and the Council of Churches.

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“The details are currently being finalised and they will be announced soon,” Mr Rudd said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said last night no decision had been made on the date of the day of mourning.

Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin told Parliament the people of Kinglake, Marysville, Wandong, Flowerdale, Churchill and many other communities were not about to give up.

While Australia was a nation in shock, it was also mobilised to help and ready and willing to tackle the huge task ahead, Ms Macklin said.

“Overnight, some of them may have become citizens of tent cities — each night going to sleep under canvas — but they are already planning and thinking about how they can go back and start again,” Ms Macklin said.

“They want to get back to their towns and farms, to begin sorting through the wreckage, to salvage what they can.”

“They are sharing their stories of escape and survival. They are regathering and regrouping.

“Their losses are enormous, but they haven’t lost their sense of community, bound together by courage, sacrifice and an incomparable generosity of spirit.”

Messages of sympathy and offers of support are also pouring in from across the world, as have millions of dollars from some of Australia’s least-wealthy neighbours.

Indonesia has donated $1.5 million and Papua New Guinea $2 million, amid a mass of offers that a clearly moved Foreign Minister Stephen Smith described as “very uplifting”.

Mr Rudd said Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare had told him that whenever calamities hit his country, Australia had always been first to help.

“In this small way, he too wishes to reflect to the Australian people that they are not just a neighbour but a friend,” Mr Rudd said.

Then he told of how a woman from Cypress, Texas, emailed him to offer spiritual help from those who had suffered in US disasters.

“Please tell your people,” the woman said, “that we here in Texas and in Louisiana, and every other area that has suffered through losses and devastation that was so powerful and painful, that they leave the imprint on your souls.

“We are not there but if they close their eyes for just a moment, perhaps they will feel our arms around them, telling them that we too have been there, and this too can be survived, but it won’t be easy.

“We are praying for you all, and wondering what we might do to help you in this tragedy.”

Source: The Age


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