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The Whanganui Muslim community has thanked the people of New Zealand and especially the Whanganui community for the support and love shown since last Friday's attacks in Christchurch.
Islamic Association of Whanganui president Dr Mukarram Mairaj said New Zealand was his home and this incident would not alter his opinion about the country.
"Words are powerless to express my gratitude."
He was one of many speakers at the Unity March at Majestic Square this afternoon.
Many locals took part in the march to the square, and many more across the city took part in a two-minute silence to honour those killed in the attacks.
Dr Nafees Ghamri told the gathering in Majestic Square Muslim communities were overwhelmed by the reaction of New Zealand people and the support and love they had been shown.
He acknowledged the support of the government, political parties, social organisations and media.
The support shown by people throughout New Zealand after the attack may be a reflection of the future of New Zealand and the upcoming generation, Ghamri said.
Vijeshwar Prasad from the Multicultural Society spoke to the gathering.
"We must break barriers and with love we can help one another.
"Let's all pray that those precious lives we have lost will rest in peace."
Gerrard Albert spoke on behalf of Whanganui iwi. He said: "If we say my tikanga is the only one to be accepted we have lost our humanity. They could be any one of us, any one of our family."
At 1.32pm people in Whanganui and around the country observed two minutes' silence in honour of those killed in last Friday's attacks.
Students from Faith City School took part at the Splash Centre.
Year 8 students from the school ran a mufti day on Thursday and raised more than $300.
They also organised a memorial book, signed by students and the community, to send to Christchurch.
Students in room five at Whanganui Intermediate School wrote poems following events and discussed what happened at school.
They addressed the topic of gun laws in leadership class as part of global studies.
Matthew Adrole, 12, said of the two minutes' silence "It kind of felt weird. We were kind of experiencing what they held felt. It was really silent and I felt kind of shaky too."
"It was a great idea that we did this, just to show how we respect each other as a nation and we can unite as a country. I feel that we needed that moment of silence."
Matthew said of last week's events: "It was on the news while everyone was at home and they were probably shocked because it's not us, it's not how New Zealand is. We're used to being a peaceful country."
Reina Jones, 12, said of the silence: "We were real quiet, kind of like when they were praying. There wasn't much noise except for their prayer. The three bells afterwards was kind of like when the gunshots started."
"I talked about it with my family. It was emotional. I was quite shocked and I couldn't imagine it would happen anywhere in New Zealand. I've always known New Zealand as a very safe country. That type of thing doesn't belong here."
Players and officials at Wanganui Tennis Club observed the silence.
Bob Evans, a 28-year member of the NZ Police and an armed offenders squad member held his phone to the ground's speaker for the call to prayer, ahead of the two-minutes' silence.
The event was a Supersport competiton with more than 30 children and parents from Whanganui, Manawatu, Rangitikei and Levin.
At the district library Kat Schroyens wore a headscarf in solidarity with Muslim women and thought of the victims of the shooting.
Nicholas Keene thought of his own children, aged 2 and 5.
"Two of the children who died are younger than my son," he said.
Earlier at the Unity March people joined hands around Majestic Square as the names and ages of those killed in the Christchurch attacks were read out.
Mayor Hamish McDouall told the gathering we should not let the terrorist "shake our kaupapa".
Read more: NZ stops to mourn the fallen
McDouall was talking to the gathering in Majestic Square, and urged the crowd not to accept casual racism any longer.
"If we draw a line from Friday we can make our entire society a better place and something good can grow from such a terrible tragedy," he said.
Jill Hobbs told the Chronicle she had learned of the terror attack late in the day last Friday while on holiday.
"We were on a cliff overlooking the ocean and found out when we checked our phones," Hobbs said.
"The sadness made me come to the march today. We have to break down those barriers, don't we. We all have barriers within us."
MP Harete Hipango said the atrocity breached our nation but had made us stronger than ever before.
She acknowledged the first responders and said there would be unity in our humanity.
She was reminded of the verse of national anthem not often sung:
Men of every creed and race, Gather here before Thy face, Asking Thee 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.
A large group of locals had marched to the square from Cooks Gardens.
Speakers addressed the crowd as New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy students conducted a flypast in honour of Ozair Kadir, of India, a student at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand in Christchurch.
MC Carla Donson mentioned honouring everyone for being here today and their outpourings of grief and love.
There was a book of condolence from Whanganui District Council for people to sign.
People were invited to stay for call to prayer and two minutes' silence in Majestic Square.
Whanganui Unity March organiser Jack Bullock thanked the community for supporting the event.
"Our community has come out and shown we are a kind, loving community," he said.
"Today has brought people together who wouldn't normally stand together."
People are starting to gather in St Hill St for the Whanganui Unity March to Majestic Square.
More are waiting at Majestic Square.
Deputy mayor Jenny Duncan is carrying a Whanganui Unity banner with a group of children.
Children leading the march were from Mosston School.
Organiser of today's Unity March Jack Bullock said there would be a short march to Majestic Square where there would be several speakers, the flypast and silence in memory of the victims.
Speakers include Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall, Islamic Association of Whanganui president Dr Mukarram Mairaj, Vijeshwar Prasad of the Rangitīkei-Whanganui Multicultural Council and Whanganui MP Harete Hipango, with the event MC-ed by Carla Donson.
The missing person flypast during Friday's Whanganui Unity March will have special significance for students at the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy in Whanganui.
Twenty-five-year-old Ozair Kadir, of India, was a student at the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand in Christchurch. He died in the terrorist attack at the mosque in Deans Ave last Friday.
Although the Whanganui academy staff and students did not know Kadir, they wanted to honour a fellow aviator.
NZICPA chief executive Phill Bedford said the missing person flypast was a traditional, deeply sentimental way of showing respect to someone who has died.
Read the full story here
Meanwhile, thousands of NZ women - including female police officers - are wearing hijabs and headscarves today.
What: Whanganui Unity March
Where: Gather at Cooks Gardens entrance on St Hill St
Details: Walk to Majestic Square and stand together in support of Christchurch shooting victims. Flyover of planes from Whanganui Pilot Academy.
•Call to prayer starts at 1.30pm, two-minute silence starts at 1.32pm
•The nationwide reflection will be broadcast on nzherald.co.nz and on Newstalk ZB
What: Peace Vigil for victims of Christchurch shootings
Where: Handspan sculpture, Queenspark.
Details: Please park in Watt St or by the Alexander Library and walk up. Fire ban in place so please bring LED lights only.