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Martin Place - 17th December 2014 

This is how Sydney reacted to tragedy.

From Sydney to Peshawar and worldwide.. 

If you don’t get it, you just don’t get it…

We are one. 

@embraceinmartinplace

Instagram: @shotbynedal

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Independent.co.uk ; A Muslim bride received applause on Sunday as she interrupted her wedding day to lay her bouquet in tribute to the victims of the Sydney siege at Martin Place.

Barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, 38, and café manager Tory Johnson, 34, were both killed in the siege in which lone gunman and self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis held people hostage in a Lindt café for 16 hours. He was killed when police stormed the area to end the stand-off.

Thousands of tributes have since poured in for Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson at Martin’s Place, where flowers and messages cover the ground.

Manal Kassem, 23, from Punchbowl, a Sydney suburb, had originally planned to have her wedding photoshoot in the city, but had been hesitant after the events last week.

But on Sunday, dressed in white, wearing a headscarf and a veil, Ms Kassem chose to visit the site before the pictures were taken for her wedding, and received applause from the crowds as she lay down her bouquet.

Ms Kassem’s wedding planner, Dina Kheir, told AAP: “She was going to cancel [the photoshoot] because she didn’t want to be judged – celebrating her wedding in a scarf while people were terrorised.

“But she made it her priority to visit the memorial site as the first pit stop.

“She did it out of respect for her country that will one day be the country of her children and grandchildren.”

Jizo statues in Kamakura, Japan. Jizo take care of the souls of unborn children and those who died at a young age. Children “in limbo” in Japan are said to go to a place called sai no kawara, where they must create piles of stones into small towers. But every night the stone towers are destroyed by demons, so the next day the children must make new piles of stones. The making of these towers is to help their parents accrue merit for their own afterlife.

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The answer is not in more guns, linking behind a common enemy or assigning blame to other cultures and religions.

There’s nothing to be gained in cynicism and indignation in response to the silly things people say when given a microphone or a Twitter account.

All of these things can feed in to horrors akin to what happened this week in Martin Place.

All of it. All of this hate, anger, cynicism and righteousness. It has to stop somewhere. Doesn’t it? Can’t it?

As a people, can’t we just stop, break the cycle, take the moment to breathe, and come to understand that life is a thing that goes to waste when we focus on hating someone, deriding someone, judging someone, and insisting we know better.

Life should never go to waste. Take a look at what Sydney has said in response to the Martin Place tragedy, really look, and understand. Each moment you give in to hating someone - whether it’s merely for an opposing opinion, or something truly evil - no good comes of it. The only result of “an eye for an eye” is the loss of two eyes.

So look at this sea of flowers and don’t let the lives of the siege victims be a waste. Whatever anger and rage it is that you feel, realise that it brings you nothing good - and just let it go.

CW2014