The Sydney Opera House was among a range of landmarks in Australia, to light up in the colours blue, white and red as Australians showed their support for Parisians rocked by terror attacks. In nearly every capital city, there is a showing of solidarity and support with the French people.
In West Melbourne as the sunsets Melbourne Australia is thinking of the people of Paris.
In Brisbane, the Story Bridge was lit up in blue, white and red to show solidarity with the people of France.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the thoughts and prayers of all Queenslanders went out to those affected by the tragedy in Paris.
“We want to show our support to France — even if we are far away, our hearts are there with the French community.
“All together we can fight terrorism, stay united and show that we are not afraid.”
Ever have those times when you are driving along and a song will come on the radio and just take you back in time in your mind? Like an emotional trigger, you find yourself thinking of people, of places of when you first heard the song. A movie that I thought captured the ideal was probably Forest Gump, where the music was just as important in telling the story of Forest’s life. If I could build a playlist of my life through music, I am sure that the top ten songs would be from those important family moments, or even the world events that happened at the time.
Sadly for me, the song that stands out in bringing an emotional response, relates to the death of a beloved Aunt. I can’t help but burst into tears whenever I hear it. Both for the lyrics, and the memory of losing someone that I adored from cancer.
I can’t understand
the horrors on the TV
the sadness, the grief.
Lives cut short
A generation lost
It’s so unfair
Yet there are no answers
Can you tell me why?
This is a time of joy
Of peace and good will to all
yet here we sit
watching madness take hold
Sadness. That is what many Australians are feeling right now, after the terrible end to the Siege in Sydney. Two innocent and brave people lost their lives, as well as the gunman. It has left many shocked and deeply saddened, and I will admit that the images on television of the many floral tributes that are in Martin Place had me moved to tears. The outcome was tragic, but it could have been much worse had it not been for the heroic actions of Tori Johnson. The Lindt Cafe manager risked his life twice to save others, and the second time it ended in tragedy. The other to lose their life was Katrina Dawson; Mother of three and a promising Lawyer with a bright future. She shielded her pregnant friend, and sadly had a heart attack at the moment the police entered the cafe.
This is a trying time for many right across the community. There are fears of reprisals or revenge attacks, though the mood of many is to seek unity and understanding. Tolerance is important. What we have to remember is that there are many in our community that are unbalanced and could do the unthinkable. Take the Port Arthur Massacre. One lone gunman killed 35 people and wounded another 23 in 1996. There was no real reason for the attack, and people were going about their daily lives when it happened. The same happened at the Lindt Cafe. A lone gunman with a history of violence and mental instability took people hostage to get attention. The news stations in conjunction with the Police agreed to block all information going to social media and the news reports, so as not to give into the gunman’s demands.
Religion is not to blame and no one group should be targeted in a backlash. The whole community is grieving what happened, and I truly believe that we as Australians will be united in saying no to extremism. The vile act of one person does not reflect on others, nor should it.
Australia is a multicultural nation, built upon a foundation of freedom and equality. We are a virtual punch bowl of nationalities and religions. It is what makes us who we are. And no one….is going to change that.