Lost in the hate-filled machismo of right wingers nailing themselves to crosses during the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, was John Sato. The 95-year-old New Zealand army World War II veteran took four buses in order to make his way to the center of Auckland. He took all of those buses so that he could walk down the street and show his support at the rally against racism that was held on Sunday.
The murder of 50 Muslim men, women, and children at two mosques had kept Sato up that night, telling Radio New Zealand “I didn’t sleep too well ever since. I thought it was so sad. You can feel the suffering of other people.” According to Sato he identifies as Eurasian with parents from Japan and Scotland. “I think it’s such a tragedy, and yet it has the other side. It has brought people together, no matter what their race or anything. People suddenly realised we’re all one. We care for each other.”
Sato’s wife passed away 15 years ago and their daughter also passed last year. Sato says he made his way down to Aukland center starting at 10 AM—helped along the way by strangers he met. At the end of the day a policeman gave him a bottle of water and drove him all the way home. He told the radio station that watching innocent people die during World War II had put into perspective the absurdity of holding onto hate.