Sydney Siege: One Year On, ‘No Time Limits On Grief’

The Sydney siege changed Australia. It lasted more than 16 hours, but its impact was felt around the world.

While 18 hostages were still under the control of terrorist Man Haron Monis, newsrooms all over the country and the world were working to have papers printed, bulletins broadcast, and online updates published to feed an international audience desperate for news of the fate of the captives.

The New South Wales State Coroner took the unusual step of issuing a public statement to mark the anniversary of the siege, noting that Tuesday will be “extremely difficult” for those touched by the tragedy, reported AAP.

Coroner Michael Barnes, who is undertaking the enormously complex inquest into the siege, offered his deep sympathy to the families of Johnson and Dawson.

“One year on, we need to remember these feelings will not have subsided, particularly for those impacted by the siege. In some instances, it could be worse.”

Barnes said families who have lost loved ones deal with their loss in their own way and need support.

“You cannot put time limits on grief,” he said.

The inquest is one of the largest and most complex ever undertaken in Australia.

It began in January, and Barnes is due to deliver his findings in mid-2016.

It was the first time a coronial inquest had examined a potential act of terrorism.

According to theguardian, Steve Loane, the chief executive of Lindt Australia, paid tribute to the “remarkable strength and resilience” of the Lindt team and said proceeds from the Martin Place cafe on Tuesday would go to the Katrina Dawson Foundation and Beyond Blue, the charities nominated by the families of Dawson and Johnson. “We would like to thank the people of Sydney and everyone in Australia for their overwhelming support in the past year,” he said.

The families of siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson will join siege survivors and members of the public at the site of the tragedy in a twilight ceremony.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said the understated event would remember victims and survivors and recognise the incredible response of Sydney and the broader Australian community to the terrible events of December 15 and 16, 2014.

In the days after the siege, Martin Place was blanketed in bouquets of flowers that were left by thousands of people in a spontaneous outpouring of grief and respect.

Images of that huge floral tribute and some of the thousands of messages left by mourners and well-wishers will feature in light projections onto the now refurbished and reopened Lindt Cafe building over five nights.

A permanent memorial for the siege victims and survivors – hundreds of illuminated glass boxes holding flowers and set into granite paving – will be established outside the Lindt Cafe at a later date.

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