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Remembering Katie Bender

By I-filed 16 July 2007 34

I noticed the Bender family placed an ad in Saturday’s paper marking 10 years since Kate Carnell and her chilling “attachment to your birthplace is just emotional baggage” henchpersons blew up the Canberra Hospital as a spectacle. Let’s hope that the plans to redevelop the Albert Hall environs don’t mess with Katie’s little memorial. And I hope that the unfortunate who won the competition to get to press the blaster has since recovered emotionally. A dreadful event, still dreadful ten years on to those most affected.

What’s Your opinion?


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Remembering Katie Bender
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patchy459 3:55 pm 11 Nov 09

I’ve known about the incident as long as I could remember because my family was literally centimetres away from poor Katie.

Because I was only 5 years old at the time I hadn’t had a grasp on death or events alike but today on the way to Woden Hospital to get my cast put on (I broke my thumb last Saturday) I got to asking ‘Mum, I don’t really understand what happened at the Canberra hospital.’

It came as a shock to me when she started tearing up when she told me what she had experienced, we were at a distance where we could touch this young girl on the shoulder if we were going to tell her anything, we didn’t even know her.
Looking back on it I retch and my stomach goes squirty, to this day I could be minus one of my sisters who were no older than Katie herself, or even one my parents.

But instead of hitting my family, or any other people who had much to offer in life, it hit Miss Bender, a 12 year old preteen who probably hadn’t yet even experienced that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling of asking somebody to the school dance or even heavy school exams, all of the normal things teenagers experience.

My heart still goes out to the Bender family – and in my opinion the monument should stand for years to come, not only for the sake of her family, but as a reminder to the ACT government to think things through.

Danman 7:44 am 18 Jul 07

I would just like to clarify that I do not agree with the monument to Miss Bender – purely because it was a public event – and therefore kind of agree with Bonfires comments of “Why is their grief more special than his”

In that regard – I object – and find it a waste of taxpayers money.

I have no problem with roadside memorials – in moderation – and if the Benders set up their own memorial at the site of Katies death that would be fine with me as well.

However – I do find myself swerving a little more to the left every time I go past the DJ McLaughlin memorial on Yerrabi Drive – but the darn thing is too high up on the curb.

That kid was a monster and committed suicide – barely something to memorialise in my opinion.

Meconium 2:40 am 18 Jul 07

Lol, Pandy and WK4eva asked directly, whereas I said I didn’t want to see a video of a girl getting decapitated, and I’m the one that’s offered the opportunity to see it!

Thanks for the offer Vic, but it was a passing interest, I’m not studying the incident or anything. Still, if you uploaded it to youtube that would be cool, provided there’s no snuff footage in the video…

I was there ten years ago too, and if the site of the memorial is located exactly where she was standing when she was hit by the debris, I can’t believe I didn’t find out that someone was struck until the next day! I was within 20m easily, and didn’t see any commotion.

The whole act of turning it into a spectacle was pretty amazingly stupid and short-sighted, even if it did make people less concerned that their birthplace was to be demolished. One death in ~100,000 people, while tragic, was a pretty lucky outcome, considering all the people out in boats that could have been hit by the debris flying into the water.

Katie Bender and her parents and family were extremely unlucky, and this was an incomparably regrettable event for this town, but that still doesn’t mean you can concrete some stones to the ground at the site of her death and attach a plaque remembering her.

Vic Bitterman 10:46 pm 17 Jul 07

It’s been years since I looked at the tape Meconium. Not something I have thought of for a long time, until recently with it on the news….

To be honest with you, last time I watched it was probably not long after it happened, and I made a copy for the AFP who were after any home videos of the implosion. Which I sent them my copy.

Gimme a while to find it. It’s been two house moves since, so I’m sure it’s in a box in the garage – a box that has been unopened for at least 5 years! 🙂 And we’re off interstate this weekend, so maybe next week? Send me an email (get this via the admins of this site) and I’ll get you a copy…. whether it’s a VHS tape or a DVD depends whether I can get a copy going… been years since we’ve had a videotape player in use here!!! 🙂

Meconium 8:37 pm 17 Jul 07

I don’t want you to upload your video VB, but I did want to see the implosion again – found one already on youtube which is actually a news segment on the demolition of the Acacia bridge, but it has a little bit of footage of the hospital demolition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYaw1Ol8jn4

As for roadside memorials, it’s a pity the governments are too gutless to do anything about them. People used to go to cemeteries to grieve and remember loved ones – they made a dedicated trip rather than erect a very public reminder of their child’s life so they can remember them each time they go to the shops. It’s unnecessary, it’s visual pollution and though it may have a cautionary effect on drivers, there’s surely better ways to do that.

Can’t believe the demolition was ten years ago already though.

Pandy 7:39 pm 17 Jul 07

Googling roadside memorials shows not everyone is a fan of them. Some councils only allow them for a short period before encouraging the erectors to dismantle them.

Do we want to get to this stage?http://homepage.eircom.net/~arantsli/augh2.htm

Pandy 7:16 pm 17 Jul 07

Well said bonfire.

It is healthier for all those memorial builders to move on.

Vic Bitterman 4:50 pm 17 Jul 07

No, I don’t even want to watch the video again.

Maelinar 3:37 pm 17 Jul 07

I think that they are a trend, a fad, and a boganism.

Soon they will be replaced with cheap statuettes, and will get grander and grander as bogans attempt to compete with each other for roadside ‘status’.

caf 2:53 pm 17 Jul 07

I think the roadside memorials can sometimes have a sobering influence on the behaviour of the drivers that pass them.

Absent Diane 2:50 pm 17 Jul 07

I personally think that these kinds of memorials are damaging to the family of the victim…in that it makes it harder for them to let go when they have constant reminders. However whether I agree with it or not I do not begrudge the family the opportunity for wanting it.

Thumper 2:32 pm 17 Jul 07

Bonfire does have a point there.

I don’t quite agree with him, but he does have a point.

bonfire 2:22 pm 17 Jul 07

i hate to be condemned as cruel but here goes.

death affects us all. its part of life.

we have areas set aside for bodies and memorials – there called graveyards or cemeteries.

littering the landscape with our own personal memorials to loved ones cant be permitted.

why is your grief more special than mine ?

its not.

unless the person did something significant in their life which warrants a public memorial, these little shrines need to be removed from the landscape.

they do not help peopel grieve or move on or get over it. they serve no useful purpose at all.

West_Kambah_4eva 1:03 pm 17 Jul 07

Katie Bender deserved to die, in my opinion. I mean, who did she think she was, trying to stop a concrete block with her head. What a maroon!

Plus post the video, Vic!!!

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