The blanket of flowers engulfing Martin Place continues to grow, with thousands more tributes to the victims of last week’s deadly siege added.
Hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson died along with gunman Man Haron Monis in the early hours of Tuesday when police stormed the Lindt cafe in central Sydney, ending the terrifying 16-hour hostage crisis.
Soon after, members of the public began placing bunches of flowers and letters of remembrance at a makeshift memorial in Martin Place, just metres from where the siege took place.
The memorial grew through the week as Sydneysiders laid tribute to the victims, and continued over the weekend.
On Friday, Thomas Zinn, the partner of Mr Johnson, said that there was “no more beautiful thing than (Tori) could have imagined”.
“When I was down there yesterday, I could smell the flowers through Sydney, and I think it’s just amazing that he has been able to make our city smell like flowers,” Mr Zinn told Channel Nine.
By Saturday, it was so large there were two separate sites, one directly outside the Lindt Cafe and another, bigger site, across Elizabeth street.
Amina Bahsoun was one of the thousands laying flowers on Saturday.
“I’m paying my respects to those who passed away, nothing like this should ever happen to anyone,” said the 17-year-old, who came to Martin Place with around 15 other young Muslim Australians.
“Paying respects to those who lost their lives is what any human would do who has humanity left.”
Mariam Hamad, 17, also brought flowers, making the trip in from Condell Park, in Sydney’s west.
The victims of the siege were “like our family too”, Ms Hamad said. “So if their lives were lost it’s like someone from our family were lost.
“It’s a shock to us, all Australians are united when it comes to a tragedy like this. ”
Andrew Silcock, from Leichhardt, was in Martin Place handing out badges inscribed with the message #Illridewithyou.
“The tragedy is horrible … but this won’t defeat us,” Mr Silcock, 37, said.
“It’s really genuinely emotional here, I had no idea I was going to be affected in this way.”
A group of Sydney cyclists took part in a commemorative bike ride to pay tribute to the victims of the Martin Place siege as well as those who survived the ordeal.
Many of the riders, who were members of the Muslim community, gathered at Lakemba mosque in the city’s south-west early on Sunday morning for the journey to the CBD.
The group of about 50 cyclists left flowers at the memorial to pay their respects to Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson.
The NSW government has plans to compost the floral tributes for a future memorial site to the siege victims.
– with ABC