Christchurch resident David Lynch
Christchurch resident David LynchCNN
For many longtime Christchurch residents, heartbreaking tragedy is becoming an all-to-familiar experience.
David Lynch, 58, was “born and bred” in the city which has less than 400,000 residents. He attended the memorial site with his daughter on Saturday to pay his respects – eight years after witnessing an earthquake in the town that destroyed buildings and left 185 people dead.
“Eight years ago, with the tragedy of the earthquake, I remember seeing media from the US on a corner not far from here with a fallen building. Seeing the media today takes me right back,” he told CNN. “But there’s a bit of a difference. Then, it was a natural disaster. This is a massive loss of life through someone’s believe that Muslims should die.”
“When you look at where we are geographically, these types of people, their thinking is always to try to get as much attention (as possible),” he added. “To come to such a unique place that is considered so safe and away from so much of the rest of the world where these things happen on a regular basis. I guess that much have been part of the appeal.”
Lynch has a message for Christchurch’s Muslim community. “I think it’s a time for supporting and standing with them, and make them realize that what’s happened here is not what New Zealand is all about,” he said.
Read more about the two tragedies that have struck Christchurch here.