Devout worshippers who gathered at Al Noor mosque just one week ago, bore witness to the tragic loss of innocent lives around them, in a deadly shooting that shocked the world on 15 Mar.
Just a week after the incident, the resilient folks of Al Noor mosque will be opening its doors once again this Friday (22 Mar) as the country moves towards normalcy.
We expect that a massive turnout tomorrow even as the mosque undergoes intensive restoration work — getting a paint job, cleaned and undergoing bullet removal.
Linwood mosque – the second site of the attack – is expected to open its doors to welcome its members as well.
Burials for the victims, aged 3-71, are still ongoing. A group funeral will also commence on 22 Mar, for around 30 victims whose bodies have been released to their families after investigations.
With an armed police presence outside the mosque, the authorities hope everyone attending Friday prayers will feel more secure.
NZ police are also working hard to scrub the crime scene for evidence, to allow citizens to return to their everyday routines ASAP.
2 minutes of silence will be observed in a nation wide telecast of “Friday’s call to prayers for Muslims”, says Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister.
The victims mostly were migrants or refugees from these nations like Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Throughout the tragedy, we can take heart that widespread global support was evident as the nation grieved.
A strong call for stricter gun regulations also rose from the ashes of the horrific massacre, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
Some New Zealand citizens even surrendered their weapons of their own accord to the police, in a show of solidarity with the victims.
The incident has claimed 50 victims at the time of writing, with a gunman arrested for murder and for perpetrating the heinous crime.
Court proceedings for him will continue on Tuesday (5 Apr), after he fired his state-appointed lawyer and chose to defend himself.
As we remember the fallen, let us not forget those who are still fighting for their lives.
The shocking incident may have happened far from Singapore’s shores, but New Zealand’s resilience has arguably touched the entire world.
We have watched as they toiled tirelessly to prevent the incident from defining them — that’s a sentiment that will prevail, regardless of race, language or religion.
A sentiment we should sear in our hearts and minds, as we remember the names and faces of every victim this Friday.
Featured image from Google Maps.
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