Sydney’s population, still shaken by Monday’s terrorist attack on a Lindt coffee shop in Martin Place that left two innocents and the jihadist gunman dead, have begun to pay tribute to the fallen with a massive shrine of flowers built from bouquets from thousands visiting the square.
A crowd of thousands, moving in silence or prayer, began to leave bouquet after bouquet in the center of the square, reports the Daily Mail, after police cleared the area for public passage once again. The Mail notes that, among the most moving aspects of the Martin Place scene was “the mix of faithful who came to pay homage – from the Muslim men who fell to their knees, to Christians who recited The Lord’s Prayer, the Menorah brought by a member of the Jewish clergy and a group of Sikh gurus who stood as one.”
Those who came to the financial center of the city to pay tribute posted photos of the moving images on social media, such as this one:
— Jayne Azzopardi (@JayneAzzo) December 16, 2014
Among those visiting the makeshift memorial Tuesday were Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife, who also laid flowers. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Abbotts came and went in silence, followed by a group paying tribute so large that their flowers grew, challenging police to assemble an organized line increasingly far from the center of the Square.
Three died during the siege of the Lindt café on Monday: the manager of the café, Tori Johnson, barrister Katrina Dawson, and the shooter–an Iranian national who had converted recently from radical Shia Islam to radical Sunni. Johnson wrestled the weapon out of the gunman’s hands as he dozed, and Dawson died trying to save a pregnant friend.