Jacinda Ardern's full Christchurch speech: 'Let us be the nation we believe ourselves to be'

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‘What words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured?’ asked New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during her address at a memorial service for the Christchurch victims. ‘I thought there were none. And then I came here and was met with this simple greeting. As-salaam Alaikum. Peace be upon you.’ She says those words ‘have left us humbled, and they have left us united. Adern was speaking at the National Remembrance Service in North Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand to remember the 50 people killed in the Christchurch mosque shootings on 15 March
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you know the rangatira mom you know they are you know enough do not go over nice how far annoying tena koe toda esta poquito ana not a or mama hawk Iran Oh Oh total Harry my tato a meteor AHA me tyranny mário Caetano nay yomaira di Onorato your americano tattle Couture we gather here 14 days on from our darkest of hours the days that have followed the terrorist attack on the 15th of March we have often found ourselves without words what words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men woman and children lost and so many injured what words capture the anguish of our Muslim community being the target of hatred and violence what words express the grief of a city that is already known so much pain I thought there were none and then I came here and was met with the simple greeting assalamu alaikum peace be upon you they were simple words repeated by community leaders who witnessed the loss of their friends and loved ones simple words whispered by the injured from their hospital beds simple words spoken by the bereaved and everyone I met who has been affected by this attack assalam alaikum peace be upon you they were words spoken by a community who in the face of hate and violence had every right to express anger but instead open their doors for all of us to grieve with them and so we say to those who have lost the most we may not have always had the words we may have left flowers before mahouka sang songs or simply embraced but even when we had no words we still heard yours and they have left us humbled and they have left us United over the past two weeks we've heard the stories of those impacted by this terrorist attack those stories of bravery there were stories of those who were born here grew up here or who had made New Zealand their home who had sought refuge or sort of better life for themselves or their families these stories they now form part of our collective memories they will remain with us forever they are us but with that memory comes a responsibility a responsibility to be the place that we wish to be a place that is diverse that is welcoming that is kind and compassionate those values represent the very best of us but even the ugliest of viruses can exist in places they are not welcome racism exists but it is not welcome here an assault on the freedom of any one of us suppress who practices their faith or religion is not welcome here violence and extremism in forms is not welcome here and over the last two weeks we have shown that you have shown that in your actions from the thousands at vigils to the 95 year old man who took four buses to attend a rally because he couldn't sleep from the sadness of seeing the hurt and suffering of others our challenge now is to make the very best of us a daily reality because we are not immune to the viruses of hate of fear of other we never heaven but we can be the nation that discovers the cure and so do each of us as we go from here we have work to do but do not leave the job of combating hate to the government alone we each hold the power in our words and in our actions and our daily acts of kindness let there be the legacy of the 15th of March to be the nation we believe ourselves to be to the global community who have joined us today who reached out to embrace New Zealand and our Muslim community to all of those who have gathered here with us we say thank you and we also asked at the condemnation of violence and terrorism turns now to a collective response the world has been stuck in a vicious cycle of extremism breeding extremism and it must end we cannot confront we cannot confront these issues alone none of us can but the answer to them lies in a simple concept that is not bound by domestic borders that isn't based on ethnicity power base or even forms of governance the answer lies in our humanity but for now we will remember those who've left this place we will remember the first responders who gave so much of themselves to save others we will remember the tears of our nation and the new resolve we have formed and we remember that ours is a home that does not and cannot claim perfection but we can strive to be true to the words embedded in our national anthem men of every Creed and race gather here before they face asking me to bless this place God defend our free land from dissension envy hate and corruption guard our state make our country good and great God defend New Zealand cor Tata Tata assalam alycome [Applause]