One man in Indonesia says for years, he refused to believe that his wife and children had died in the tsunami that struck ten years ago today. But finally, he said, he gave up looking for them.
He was among thousands of people taking part today in a prayer service to mark the anniversary of the tsunami, which left nearly a quarter of a million people dead in a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim.
The resident of Banda Aceh (BAHN'-duh AH'-cheh), Indonesia, says he can't forget the smell of the air and the water after the tsunami, set off by a powerful earthquake, wiped away coastal communities.
Indonesia's vice president led a prayer ceremony in Banda Aceh. He and other officials placed flowers at a mass grave where thousands of unknown tsunami victims were buried. More than 170,000 people died in Indonesia alone.At beachside memorials and religious services across Asia today, survivors cried and prayed. More than 100 survivors of the tsunami along with bereaved relatives from Germany, Austria and Switzerland held a memorial service on a beach in Thailand. They walked into the waves and placed flowers in the warm Andaman Sea, while diplomats put wreaths on the sand.