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Open Post: Remembering the Sydney siege victims.

Hey lovely people, welcome to our weekly open post.

You know the deal: I’m going to kick us off with what’s going on in my brain right now and then it’s over to you.

It’s been a tough start to the week for Sydneysiders, and Australians generally, with the terrifying events of Monday’s Sydney siege playing out in-front of our eyes. Collectively, we watched in horror as crazed gunman Man Haron Monis held 17 innocent people captive for 16 hours. We hoped against hope that they would all be released safely. And we mourned when two of the hostages, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, tragically lost their lives.

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Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, who tragically lost their lives during the Sydney siege.

Two days on, many Australians are left feeling like our nation has been changed forever. There’s a feeling of innocence lost. Although this man was a violent person with a history of crime, he committed his acts under the veil of terrorism, and terrify the country he did.

To read more about the victims of the Sydney Siege, read this.

However, among the darkness and fear there have been a few shining lights that have made me feel really proud to be an Australian: The #illridewithyoucampaign has been shared widely and shows that we won’t let this horrible incident divide us or spread hate. And yesterday, Australians, including the PM, Premier, local CBD workers and friends and family of the victims, congregated on Martin Place to lay flowers and commemorate the brave hostages.

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Flowers in Martin Place. Image via Instagram.

What started as three bunches of flowers, quickly become a beautiful sea of colour. Hundreds of bunches of blooms sprawled across the pavement of Martin Place, visible signs of the hurt people were feeling.

The city pays tribute.

The sea of flowers by the afternoon. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Mamamia HQ is just down the road from Martin Place, so yesterday afternoon a bunch of us walked down to the site to lay bouquets and express our condolences to the victims and their loved ones.

It was eerie being so close to the Lindt cafe, where just hours earlier such tragedy had occurred. There was a somberness and many people in the street were visibly moved by the scene before them.

But just one block down from the site of the siege, the mood changed. It’s hard to describe, but there was a quiet air of strength. People were sad, for sure, but also determined to band-together, pay our respects and show the world that we will not let this break us. We will remember our two fallen hostages, and we will think about the survivors and what they must be going through right now, but we will not let hate get between us.

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A close up of one of the bunches at Martin Place.

People were so respectful when placing their flowers, although there were hundreds waiting, no one pushed or shoved – everyone was given an equal opportunity to mourn. And this made me feel proud.

I feel proud that we are all getting through this horrible time together by supporting and leaning on each other. Because in the end, what that man wanted was to terrorise and divide us, but we will not let this happen. We will lay flowers, mourn our dead, support our survivors and move forward as a united community.

Anyway, that’s all from me, what’s on your mind this week? 

Want to find out more about the Sydney Siege? Read these…

Sydney Siege: The tragic details of what happened overnight.

The Sydney siege: things that are true and things you should ignore. What we know for sure.

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