One year on from the Sydney siege, the city pauses to remember

A view from the roof of Commercial Travellers Club building in Martin Place of the thousands of floral tributes for deceased hostages Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson. Photo: Cole Bennetts/ Getty.

People will gather at a twilight ceremony in Sydney’s Martin Place this evening to commemorate the first anniversary of the tragic Lindt Cafe siege.

A permanent memorial will be build in Martin Place, to pay tribute to the two victims, lawyer Katrina Dawson and cafe manager Tori Johnson, and honour the hostages, police forces and emergency workers involved in the 17-hour ordeal.

The memorial, made up of hundreds of flowers that light up in the ground, will be reminiscent of the floral tributes left by mourning Sydneysiders following the siege.

Photo: Visual representation of the Martin Place memorial.

The flower tributes in Martin Place became “the beating heart of a city” at a time when it was full of dread and anguish.

Business Insider’s Simon Thomsen captured the raw emotion of the tributes in a heartfelt post in the days following the attack.

“This week, Sydneysiders found a way to say what they needed to and now Martin Place is filled with flowers, notes, poems and tributes. Tokens of love to patch a tear in Sydney’s psyche.

“It wasn’t planned. A trickle has become a flood. It’s a generous, personal tribute to a city, its people and two families unexpectedly without the people they love this Christmas.

“The Dawsons and Johnsons do not mourn alone.”

Read the full article here.

People came in droves to pay their respects and find solace. Among the flowers were handwritten cards, and messages of resilience. People came together to offer hugs, and an ear to listen. But more than anything, there was an overwhelming sense of solidarity.

The many flower tributes in Martin Place. Photo: Alex Heber.

Muslim and non-Muslim communities united, challenging anti-Islamic behaviour and prejudices.

A 23-year-old Australian Muslim bride visited the site on her wedding day to add her bouquet to the memorial.

Even after the flowers were moved, every message left was preserved.

See the photos of the tributes left at Martin Place here.

Tonight Australia will come together once more to remember.

The ceremony will held in Martin Place at 8.15pm.

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