dpa/GNA – The World Peace Bell in New Zealand tolled on Monday as the country remembered the victims of the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks.
Fifty-one people died as a result of the attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15, 2019, with many others injured and traumatised.
The bell, in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens, was rung at a small service Monday afternoon. Private prayers were also held at both mosques.
A larger remembrance service was held on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary.
On the anniversary, US President Joe Biden said the country stood with New Zealand in condemning all forms of terrorism, regardless of ideology.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families. As a democratic society, we reject any attempts by individuals or groups to stoke the flames of intolerance and hate.”
Biden had made countering “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism,” including violent white supremacist ideology, a top priority, he said in a statement.
“We are committed to work with international partners to prevent all forms of terrorism.”
The United States encouraged technology companies to enforce their terms of service and community standards to prevent terrorists from using their platforms to incite violence, Biden said.
Those who died in the New Zealand attacks were honoured in a portrait on screen during Saturday’s event, while their names were read.
Led by the local Muslim community, government, and local Maori tribe Ngai Tuahuriri, the service was also streamed live online.
Last year’s service was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.