The grieving widow of Steve Irwin was to meet with the media today to share details of the conservationist's memorial. When the time came, however, her father-in-law Bob Irwin read a statement from Terri as she was still too overcome with sadness of the loss of her soulmate to face the public just yet.
Since the death of the Crocodile Hunter on Sept. 4, plans have been underway to hold a public memorial to celebrate the life and work of Irwin. It was originally thought a large stadium would be the ideal venue for the many fans expected to attend. Instead, the Irwin family will hold the service at Australia Zoo's Crocoseum on Wednesday, September 20 at 9AM.
Terri, via the statement read by Bob, said "'I cannot see how a memorial service for Steve would work in any other place other than the Crocoseum which he built here at the zoo and of which he was so proud.'"
John Williamson, the legendary singer-songwriter (an Australian equivalent of John Denver, to some extent), will perform Steve's favorite song — "True Blue". Williamson has said he is deeply honored to be asked to perform at the memorial and will include a song called "Sad Day in Meekav", which is where the singer was when he learned of his friend's death.
Williamson went on to say, "'Steve was a proud Aussie who spruiked [promoted through public speaking] the wonders of our ancient land with infectious enthusiasm, who stood his ground on every occasion to protect not only the fauna of the world but his Australianness.'"
Terri, daughter Bindi, John Stainton (director/producer/friend), and others are also expected to address those who attend the memorial. With only 5,500 seats available, arrangements are being made to broadcast the celebration of Steve Irwin's life across Australia, Asia, and the U.S.
3,000 tickets will be distributed free of charge, beginning this Friday morning via a ticket agency in Brisbane. The remaining tickets will be distributed through Australia Zoo and a store with a ticketing service in Maroochydore.
Donations are still being accepted in honor of Steve Irwin by his Wildlife Warriors fund. The director of the charity, Michael Hornby, also used the press conference as an opportunity to condemn the killings of stingrays over the last week near where Irwin died after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb. Officials do not believe the animals were killed by fans, but are investigating the circumstances as cases of animal cruelty.