Friends release 99 red balloons in memory of Anthony Hiro Nagata who died one year ago.
Friends release 99 red balloons in memory of Anthony Hiro Nagata who died one year ago.

Anniversary raises awareness

AS 99 red balloons floated into the distance, nearly 300 saddened teenagers remembered Anthony Hiro Nagata.

It wasn’t just a ceremony to mark the loss of their treasured friend who tragically took his life a year ago, but a day to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

“It shouldn’t have happened to him (Anthony) and we don’t want it to happen to anyone of our other friends,” one of his friends, Kirsten Nelson, said from the ceremony, as tears trickled down her face.

The group of friends, peers, parents and Anthony’s mother Sharon and father Hiro, walked along the river in Rockhampton on World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday, marking the first anniversary of Anthony’s death.

They were holding bright red balloons marked ‘Anthony Hiro Nagata’.

“It makes you realise how special life is and it’s taught us to be open with each other even when times are tough,” another friend, Sally Smith, said.

Anthony, a talented musician and AFL player, always had time for his friends, and he was described as a ‘kind-hearted boy’.

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2010 was ‘Many Faces, Many Places: Suicide Prevention across the World’.

Anyone suffering from suicide grievance should contact Life Line’s 24-hour counselling hotline on 131 114.



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