A memorial to the Australian citizens lost in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami was unveiled today at Kings Park in Canberra.
The memorial was unveiled by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a solemn ceremony in bright sunshine.
Lieutenant Commander Melanie Ryan (picture, left) and Chief Petty Officer Jeff Weber were among many who placed flowers on the new memorial.
Both sailors served on Operation Sumatra Assist, which provided relief to Indonesia in the wake of the disaster.
Prime Minister Turnbull said the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred almost 11 years ago tragically took the lives of approximately 230,000 people – 26 of whom called Australia home.
“On Boxing Day 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The resulting tsunami was one of the most horrific natural disasters in recorded history,” Prime Minister Turnbull said.
“All Australians were affected by the tsunami, but none more so than the families of our Australians who lost their lives.
“It is important we have a place where relatives of the Australians who died can gather as they share a special bond. Nobody else can understand what they went through.
“The tsunami memorial being unveiled in Canberra today will provide a place where Australians, particularly the relatives, can meet to reflect on the natural disaster and remember the Australians who lost their lives.”
Photo by Corporal Max Bree