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Old 09-19-2006, 10:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 32,622
Steve Irwins tribute

Well it happened the other day.

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's life has been celebrated in a rapid-fire memorial service which both typified the man and drew a strong emotional response from gathered fans.

The service, at Irwin's Australia Zoo at Beerwah, began with a recorded message from actor Russell Crowe and included addresses from dignitaries and celebrities interspersed with video footage of the famed crocodile wrangler's exploits.

The biggest response, however, came to speeches from Irwin's father Bob and daughter Bindi.

"Please don't grieve for Steve," Bob Irwin said. "He's at peace now. But I'd like you to grieve for the animals. They've lost the best friend they ever had, and so have I."

A composed Bindi wearing a microphone headset read her speech to the 5000-strong crowd in a distinct voice.

"My Daddy was my hero. He was always there when I needed him . . . We swum together, caught crocodiles together and enjoyed the bush together. When I see a crocodile I will think of him," the eight-year-old said.

Irwin's wife Terri, as expected, did not speak.

In a service hosted by "blue" Wiggle Anthony Field, Irwin's young fans had obviously been kept in mind. Many children were visibly devastated by the end of the memorial, when Irwin's beaten-up 4WD was loaded with gear and slowly driven out of the "Crocoseum" between lines of khaki-clad figures.

Earlier, a welter of stars including Cameron Diaz, Kevin Costner and Justin Timberlake had appeared on recorded segments interspersed with the live speeches at Australia Zoo.

Prime Minister John Howard was one of the first to speak at the Crocoseum. "He had that quality of being genuine and authentic, of being unconditional in his enthusiasm," he said. "There are 20 million pairs of Australian arms reaching out to embrace you this morning."

Australian actor David Wenham paid his tribute by reading a poem by Rupert McCall, "The crocodiles are crying".
At the bottom of the article theres some clips and photos of it.
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