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Remembering the Crocodile Hunter

9/20/2006 11:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

More than 5,000 people gathered at the Australia Zoo's "Crocoseum" Wednesday to celebrate the memory of the late Steve Irwin. There was only one empty seat in the stadium - one set aside for Irwin himself, between his widow Terri and father Robert.

The emotional tribute was peppered with bloopers and outtakes from Irwin's show, "The Crocodile Hunter," as well as speeches and video tributes from family, friends and celebrities like Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.

The Australian-born Crowe opened the memorial with a taped introduction from New York saying, "We've all lost a friend, lost a champion and we're gonna take some time to adjust to that ... I'm in New York mate, the big city and you were headline news on CNN for a week, there's not many zookeepers that would command that sort of attention mate ...You were heard and you will be remembered."

Irwin, 44, died on September 4 when a stingray barb pierced his chest during filming for a TV show, leaving behind his wife and two children, Bindi 8, and Bob, 2. In one of the more moving moments, 8-year-old Bindi read a short speech about her father saying, "I had the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. Whenever I see a crocodile I will always think of him ... Daddy made this place his whole life. Now it's our turn to help Daddy, thank you."

26 COMMENTS

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1.

Allyson S.    

Our prayers are with you Steve . God Bless you and rest in peace .

2873 days ago
2.

DESERT RAT    

His daughter did soooo good I watched last nite and I could not believe the strength that little girl had and how mature she was.

I think we are going to see a little "Crock-et Hunter" .....My prayers are with the Irwin Family.

2953 days ago
3.

the wife    

I teared up when his daughter read her little speech... It was better than any of the others. They said they left an empty chair for him. But I don't believe it was "empty" cause I believe he was there in spirit. I believe his children and his wife will carry on with his legacy. But damn, its such a shame he's gone. He was a definite friend to wildlife despite what PETA and others say about it.

2953 days ago
4.

J.C.    

The tribute was moving---but it is sad that his death sparked the killing of
innocent animals & contradicted his lifetime work of respecting & saving
wildlife animals.

2953 days ago
5.

Lisa    

OMG! Bindi is already the new Crocodile Hunter! I too cried not only during her speech but throughout the entire one hour memorial. Everytime they panned to Terri my heart just ached. Our prayers and support are with them during this time. The Australia Zoo and all that the Irwins did will be continued through their fans. Bindi we will wait for you to take the reigns, your Daddy will live on through you and your brother! Mom of 2 in FL.

2953 days ago
6.

blah blah blah    

I watched the show and teared up the whole time. Especially when Bindi gave her touching and strength of a speech. I do believe she will carry out Steve's legacy and love for wildlife. Goodness knows she has his strength and desire to do so.
My heart goes out to the family.

WE WILL MISS STEVE ERIN TREMENDOUSLY

2953 days ago
7.

Catherine    

So sad for this family. . .God Bless them for all that they do. They are just good people. . . .

2953 days ago
8.

Rose    

I agree little Bindi was just great. I also loved the clip they showed of Steve Irwin on the Steve Harvey radio talk show. I feel what Steve Harvey stated was so true of Mr. Irwin. He said Steve Irwin was a real down to earth person and a brother. Steve Irwin seemed so touched at that.

Me and family loved Steve Irwin and will miss him, God bless Steve!

2953 days ago
9.

TC    

I also watched and it broke my heart. Bindi is so strong and sweet. I know she made everyone proud.
The thing that really broke my heart was that I have a 6 year old daughter who knew that Steve had died but didnt really grasp it till we saw the service. She cried the entire time and that broke my heart. She cried harder with all the songs and when she seen Bindi. Even though I tried talking with her, it didnt matter. She had a hard time when it was over setttling back down.
Steve meant so much to the world and too the little kids. He is sadly missed by all.
My love and prayers go out his family.

2953 days ago
10.

get a life people    

I didn't realize this was on lastnight...I caught the last 45 min of it...It was very touching...He had alot of people that loved him.....He will be missed....

2953 days ago
11.

Scout    

He was truly a hero to not only young children, but adults as well. His program were extremely entertaining and very educational. Steve was one of a kind! Although we've only watched him on TV , it was like he had become one of the family. He invited us into his home, and we invited him into ours. My family and I would like to tell his family that our thoughts and prayers are with them.

2953 days ago
12.

Sara    

The most beautiful and touching part was the family photo montage at the end. Those poor children lost a father. Terri lost her husband and friend. And the whole world grieves with them.

2953 days ago
13.

paula    

Ugh...I couldn't do it. I watched the first few minutes, but when I saw Terri with the kids I lost it. The minute she took the kids around I started to cry and couldn't watch. I have it tivo'd and will try to make it through it one day... It's just so sad to have lost some one so "larger than life" at such a young age, who had so much more to give...and so much more at home. So sad. God bless the Irwin family.

2953 days ago
14.

caveman    

It was a heart wrenching memorial, Steve lives on through his incredible little 8 yr old girl Bindi. It will be great to watch her take her Pops work to the next level in the years to come.
I also predict a run on the name Bindi for new baby girls...crikey mate.

2953 days ago
15.

Chris    

Our hearts cry with yours.

Missing you already, Steve.

2953 days ago
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