WWII veteran, 95, takes four buses to attend anti-racism rally in New Zealand


A 95-year-old Second World War veteran took four buses to attend a solidarity march against racism in New Zealand.

John Sato was so saddened after hearing about the 50 people who died in the Christchurch mosque shootings on 15 March that he was unable to sleep.

“I stayed awake quite a lot at the night. I didn’t sleep too well ever since. I thought it was so sad. You can feel the suffering of other people,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Mr Sato, who was one of only two Kiwi-Japanese servicemen in the New Zealand army during the war, decided to travel to Sunday’s rally via public transport from his home in the Auckland suburb of Howick.

He left home at around 10am and took a 15-minute bus ride to Pakuranga, where he saw many tributes and messages to those killed.

He then journeyed into the city centre on several more buses to reach the rally in Aotea Square, which takes 45-50 minutes.

Once there, Mr Sato was pictured being supported by a police officer and helper during the march.

The “kind” policeman also gave him a bottle of water and drove him all the way home.

“Policeman took me all the way home, waited down there until he saw me getting up the stairs,” he said.

“The tragedy in Christchurch, look at what it brought out in people. It shows the best of humanity.”

He continued: “I think it is such a tragedy and, yet it has the other side. It has put people together.

“It doesn’t matter what their race or anything. People have suddenly realised we are all one. We care for each other.”

Mr Sato, who visited a mosque near his home to pay tribute to the victims after the attacks, said the Christchurch shootings were more than just a tragedy.

“We all go through our furnace in certain ways and some of the things that happen to us will make you more understanding, I hope,” he said.

(c) Sky News 2019: WWII veteran, 95, takes four buses to attend anti-racism rally in New Zealand

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