The West

Bali s children reunited
Made Bagus Aryadana and Jack and Katie O'Grady. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

They first met on Kuta's beachfront nine years ago - children of the bomb - robbed of a parent 12 months earlier and unable to comprehend why.

This week, ahead of today's 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in Indonesian history and Australia's worst peacetime loss of life on foreign soil, Made Bagus Aryadana and Perth's Jack and Katie O'Grady reunited at the same spot.

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This morning, Made, 11, will take the stage at a commemoration ceremony in Bali, reading a moving letter to his dead father in front of up to 4000 guests, including Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, former prime minister John Howard and hundreds of survivors and relatives of those who died.

"I will reach my future. I will make your dreams come true. And I will look after mother for you," he will say, quoting from his letter.

For Made, the death of his father didn't happen in 2002, when the popular Sari Club head waiter failed to return home. It came seven years later, when his mother worked up the courage to tell him that the story he had believed since he was two - that his father, Gede Badrawan, had gone to the mainland for work - was invented to protect him.

"He'd been crying for a week, saying he wanted his father home," Ni Luh Erniati said of that heartbreaking moment three years ago.

"I didn't know what I should do, but I thought it was the right time to explain to him about his father. I said 'Your father is already in heaven with God'."

Made Bagus Aryadana and Perth's Jack and Katie O'Grady. Picture: Barry Baker/The West Australian

Jack and Katie were told of the loss of their mother, Jane Corteen, about a week after her remains were identified.

On a plane soon after her death, they peered out the window as they rose above the clouds and asked their father: "Do you think we will be able to see Mummy?"

Now 13, Katie has no recollection of the woman who gave birth to her.

Jack, who was five when the bombs went off, said he thought he might recall his mother's face. "I'm not sure if it's photos of her, or her that I remember," he said.

Tight security surrounded the memorial site yesterday and armed officers patrolled the Jalan Legian strip after police said they received credible intelligence that terrorists planned to target the ceremony.

The West Australian

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