I was walking along Horse Guards Parade beside St James’s Park in London today and happened to notice some men chipping away at a new stone wall (pictured). It turns out that this is the construction of a memorial for the 202 victims of the 2002 Bali bombs, 28 of them Brits. The news story from the BBC about it is here.
Two things strike me as somewhat odd here. First of all, the memorial is at the corner of a major wall that has been erected around the Foreign Office building to (I presume) prevent a terrorist driving a car full of explosives into the building. Is this intentional? A memorial to deaths from terrorism at the end of anti-bomb wall? Unsurprisingly, the BBC article neglects to mention this!
Secondly, I am a bit worried if we are getting carried away with erecting memorials for things. While I have no doubt that those killed in Bali were very dear to their loved ones, are they any more dear than those killed in car accidents, by AIDS, train crashes or whatever else? London also now has a monument remembering the suffering of animals in war (more here) on Park Lane – is that really necessary? We seem very capable of making public expressions of grief cast in stone, but what about something more positive? A large stone to commemorate the foundation of the National Health Service maybe? Or the foundation of the European Union?
Although your attitude serves your own purpose, sentiments and your own feelings, i can only but disagree. Although i can understand your view point please remember that the 202 people that died that day were doing exactly what i am sure you do every day…………. Simply going about their life. To not show a united front towards these acts of terrorism can only be negative. Although you may feel this monument an unnecessary waste of resources and emotion please expand your horizons slightly to realise that for some people bringing only bits of loved ones home to be buried does not serve the purpose of a true memorial
I agree whole-heartedly. Britain has been disgustingly sentimental since Diana’s death.
May I also say that this grotesque emotionalism actually serves terrorism’s purposes, by providing a constant reminder to, and reinforcement of, a terrorist atrocity. Where are the monuments to the 3500 dead in Northern Ireland?