By Liu Chen for RNZ
A veteran who took four buses to join an anti-racism march in Auckland after the Christchurch mosque attacks last year, says he is touched and humbled by greeting cards received from overseas.
John Sato's mission to make it to the march made headlines across the world, after the RNZ story about him went viral.
RNZ recently received cards from the United States for the 96-year-old, and delivered them to him at his Auckland home.
One card from Mary Wong of California said: "Thank you for showing me that there is still kindness, compassion and dignity in the world...Thank you for being such a good person. Please know that you are thought of in respect and honor".
Another card from Nazrin, who didn't want her full name used, said: "I want to thank you with all my heart for being a great example to the world showing love, kindness and true strength reflecting your character. I pray almighty alah continues to shower you with love and blessings".
There was also a card from Wong wishing him a happy birthday as Sato is turning 97 early January.
Sato said publicity was never his intention and he was thankful for the cards.
"Thank you for your very, very kind thoughts. I'm truly blessed that you have come into my life too, even if it's from a distance, you're still there," he said.
"There are many, many people. They think the same as we all do. We care for each other. We respect each other and we love each other and may it always be that way...bless you all. Thank you. My love to you all."
Sato, who was born to a Scottish mother and a Japanese father, said he joined the anti-racism march at Aotea Square because he was aware of racism and different religious beliefs growing up in west Australia.
He said people should be aware of racism and be more understanding. He said he'd love to visit a mosque in Pakuranga in east Auckland some day.
"As far as I'm concerned, we're all people living in one world, so why do we go like that? We are all brothers and sisters in a way. We don't have to all agree. One family doesn't all agree either."