Australian officials say a permanent memorial is in the works to honor the victims, hostages and emergency workers involved in the 16-hour siege at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney. Nearly a month after two people were killed during a hostage situation in Sydney, the plans were unveiled for a permanent site that will incorporate elements of a makeshift floral memorial that had been placed at the site in the days after the attack.
Gunman Haron Monis took control of the Lindt Cafe on Martin Place in central Sydney Dec. 15 and held 18 people hostage before police stormed the building. During that time, 12 hostages managed to escape and three were injured. Two people, Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34 were killed in the standoff.
In the days following the attack, more than 100,000 bouquets were placed at the site. Though they were cleared by city workers, Mike Baird, premier of New South Wales, promised the flowers would be used to make mulch for a memorial garden, the location of which will be chosen by a group including representatives from the city of Sydney, families of the victims and surviving hostages.
â€” ABC News Sydney (@abcnewsSydney) January 10, 2015
"The outpouring of grief that was symbolized by a sea of flowers in Martin Place, and that moved hearts around the world, was the beginning of our recovery process," Baird said Sunday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The unveiling of a permanent memorial, on or before the first anniversary of the siege, will be another significant step in that process, and will guarantee that the memory of Tori and Katrina lives on forever in the heart of Sydney,” he said.
The hostage-taking incident in Sydney was one of many similar high-profile incidents in recent months, including a shooting at Canada’s parliament building, and the recent raid on offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in France, in which local gunmen claimed a connection to the Islamic State terror group. The separate acts moved U.S. President Barack Obama to call a meeting of world leaders in Washington to address the problem.
â€” Paul Walker (@pdwnews) December 22, 2014
Representatives for the New South Wales government said the memorial could be unveiled as early as May.