Thousands of people packed into Auckland’s Aotea Square today for a vigil to mark yesterday’s New Zealand terror attack in Christchurch.
Some held banners calling for love in the face of hatred, while others wept quietly as various speakers took to the stage.
One attendant, Muslim woman Monique Pearl Pritchard, said she was overwhelmed by the support her community had received from New Zealanders.
She said seeing people from all walks of life descending on the vigil was “beautiful and heartwarming”.
Waitemata District Police Commander Naila Hassan echoed that.
Commander Hassan said she was incredibly proud to be an officer and a Muslim today.
“As a member of the Muslim community, I feel strong – I feel stronger than ever,” she said.
“Because these events will bring everyone in New Zealand together – it doesn’t matter what community you are from.”
Other vigils throughout the country were planned for later today.
Mayor Phil Goff addressing the Auckland vigil for the victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre. Video: Cafe Pacific