Flowers laid at site of Sydney siege


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Sydney is mourning but stands in hope on the first anniversary of the deadly Lindt Cafe siege, NSW Premier Mike Baird says.

A year ago gunman Man Haron Monis walked into the Martin Place cafe and took 18 people hostage, holding them captive for more than 17 hours.

Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson, barrister Katrina Dawson and Monis died in the siege.

Outside the cafe with Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione on Tuesday morning, Mr Baird reflected on the day terror came to Sydney.

“We will not be stared down by those who want to bring evil to this city, those that want to divide us. We stand in hope,” he said.

Mr Baird marked the sombre occasion by having a cup of coffee with Mr Scipione at the cafe before it opened to the public.

Inside, siege survivor Joel Herat emerged from behind the Lindt Cafe’s counter to shake Mr Baird’s hand before the two embraced, while several bouquets have been left at the steps of the cafe.

Mr Scipione said it was time to remember those touched by the attacks who continue to suffer.

A public candlelight vigil will be held in Martin Place on Tuesday evening to commemorate the victims.

“They’re still suffering. We know that. We know that they’re still hurting,” Mr Scipione said.

“I gave then – and the guarantee I give now – is that we as law enforcers will do absolutely everything we can to prevent this type of thing happening again.”

The Dawson and Johnson families will mark the occasion alongside the premier on Tuesday evening.

“I will never forget what happened at Martin Place a year ago. I will never forget Katrina and Tori,” Mr Baird said.

“And I will certainly never forget the response of this amazing city, as we came together with an outpouring of love and unity.”

Lindt Cafe CEO Steve Loane paid tribute to the “remarkable strength and resilience” his staff had displayed over the last 12 months.

Fiona Bunn, who befriended staff after the siege, said: “They are just an amazing bunch of people who have banded together as a group, as a family”.

Every dollar spent in the Lindt cafe on the first anniversary of the siege will be donated to charity.

Proceeds raised will be donated to the Katrina Dawson Foundation and Beyond Blue, the charity chosen by Mr Johnson’s family.

The public can attend the memorial vigil at viewing points between Phillip and Macquarie Streets, as well as Elizabeth and Castlereagh Streets in Martin Place.

The Lindt Cafe building will also be lit up for five nights with projections of the floral tribute and the thousands of messages laid at the site in the aftermath.

A permanent memorial – hundreds of illuminated glass boxes holding flowers and set into granite paving – will be established outside the cafe at a later date.

There will be a minute’s silence at 8.40pm during the 45-minute memorial service on Tuesday night.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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