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Australians on Sunday gathered at ceremonies large and small for an official day of mourning for the victims of the country's deadliest wildfires.
Posted on: 23-02-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

Thousands of people - including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - came together in the Victorian capital of Melbourne to honour the dead.
"Today, we are a state and a nation deep in mourning. We are picking up the pieces after the worst natural disaster in Australia's history. Devastating fires that have taken family, friends, neighbours and workmates. Destructive fires that have torn at the very heart of communities. Indiscriminate fires that have taken too many and too much. And monstreous fires that swept across our state. Fires that turned day into night, fires that consumed all before them in an inferno of wind and smoke and flame. These fires have united us all in grief, they have united us all in our response and they unite us all in the task of rebuilding, because we will rebuild."
Bells were rung as firefighters in uniform also added flowers to the wreath. Helped by drought and furnace-like conditions, the fires on what has become known as "Black Saturday" ripped across more than 39-hundred square kilometers of forest, burning all before them.

 
 

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