A Canberra academic has raised the question of why there is no memorial in the national capital for the 10 Australians killed in the September 11 attacks in the United States, as the world pauses on Saturday to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the atrocity.
Dr Rosemary Hollow, Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, completed her PhD on the community and government responses and memorials to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre and the 2002 Bali bombings.
Dr Hollow says in the gardens around Parliament House in Canberra, on the House of Representatives side, there are two memorials for Australians killed in attacks overseas - one for the victims of 2002 Bali bombings and one for the victims of MH17 shot down over Ukraine in 2014.
She said the 2002 Bali bombings memorial was a plaque on a stone plinth unveiled by Prime Minister John Howard in 2003. Ninety-one names are listed, 88 Australians and three victims with dual citizenship.
The second memorial was unveiled by Prime Minister Tony Abbot in 2015. It mirrors the Bali memorial, a plaque on a stone plinth.
It lists the names of 40 people who "called Australia home" and lost their lives when flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine on 17 July 2014.
"If you search for memorials on the Parliament House website, you won't find any reference to either of these memorials," Dr Hollow said.
"Yet some people know about them. On 17 July this year, flowers were left at the MH 17 memorial. Formal blue and yellow flowers and ribbon, the colours of Ukraine, and other less formal floral tributes.
"In early September they are still there, fading in the early Canberra spring, waiting to be removed after the memory of the anniversary has dissipated."
She said memorials for the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombing victims have been built in Kuta, in the Australian Consulate compound in Denpasar, and in the victims hometowns across Australia including Coogee, Adelaide, Perth and Queensland.
"These memorials provide places for families to grieve, to lay flowers and remember, without having to visit the tragic site of their deaths," she said.
"In 2011, a plaque with the names of the 10 Australians who died on September 11, 2001, was affixed below a large Hoop pine in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, a public tribute to their loss.
"I wonder, will Australian government politicians be making statements about the anniversary on September 11 this year? Will they make reference to, and remember, the 10 Australians who lost their lives?
"Will they wonder where they could leave flowers as a public statement of this remembrance?
"Will they wonder why there is no memorial in the gardens around Parliament House, and perhaps think after 20 years, these sad Australian losses should be publicly acknowledged and remembered?"
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