Business will never be ‘as usual’ for the Lindt Cafe, but today the doors will open again.
The Martin Place Lindt cafe has reopened today, with a moving tribute to Sydney siege victims – Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.
The cafe was the site of a siege which shook the nation, when Sydney cafe patrons were held hostage by a gunman for 16 hours.
Today, the Lindt cafe will return to business, but not without a memorial to those who lost their lives inside.
Two plaques have been erected “In Loving Memory Of” Mr Johnson, 34, and Ms Dawson, 38.
It is expected the families of Mr Johnson and Ms Dawson will attend the opening. Last month, Ms Dawson’s husband Paul Smith said he would take the couple’s children.
“Although it will be difficult at first, we hope to be able in time to return to the Lindt cafe so that [Katrina’s] children can continue to experience one of [her] great joys,” he said.
NSW Premier, Mike Baird, also attended.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Lindt Australia Chief Executive, Steve Loane, said the decision to reopen the cafe came after consultation with staff.
“Overwhelmingly, the feeling was that reopening and moving forward is the best thing to do for everyone affected,” he said.
The Sydney Siege took place over two days from December 15-16, 2014.
Gunman Man Haron Monis locked the doors to the Martin Place Lindt cafe at 10am on December 15, holding 17 patrons hostage.
Police stormed the building, killing Monis, around 2.10am on December 16.
Siege victims have since spoken about the ordeal, saying cafe manager, Tori Johnson, was a hero who attempted to wrestle the gun from Monis.
Ms Dawson, a respected Sydney barrister, was caught in police crossfire.
Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the victims today on what is sure to be an incredibly tough day.