Photographed by Associated Press Photographer Vincent Vu during a funeral service for Christchurch terror attack victims, 24-year-old Constable Michelle Evans became a viral internet sensation.
According to the Daily Mail Constable Evans had joined the police forces in 2016. Her black headscarf and red rose that she wore over her police officer uniform, while holding her armed rifle was a moving image of how New Zealanders from all walks of life spontaneously came forward to show their oneness and solidarity with the victims of two mosque shootings that took 50 lives in Christchurch on 15 March.
Her simple gesture at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch left many moved.
Thank you, New Zealand Police.
For your care & respect.
An armed police officer wears a hijab outside Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch during the funerals. https://t.co/Ea8ci9AY6k
— Hasheem Kamal (@HasheemKamal) March 22, 2019
— K.keivanloo (@kkeivanlo) March 22, 2019
Time to take notes:
– NZ Government is paying for Christchurch shooting victims' funerals, regardless of immigration status.
– Assault rifles banned.
– Thousands participated in a national day of reflection.
– Women don headscarves to support Muslims.
LOVE ALWAYS WINS ❤️ https://t.co/bTd6j91QV6
— Andrea Diaz (@AndreaDiazCNN) March 22, 2019
Featured in the Wanganui Chronicle, when she first joined the police forces in 2016, Constable Evans had talked about how she wanted to serve her local community. “I wanted to work with the community that I was brought up in really, and just help people. It’s a satisfying job knowing that you’re going out there and that’s what you’re getting paid to do, is help people,” she is quoted as having said.
Garnering praise and admiration for her compassionate, spontaneous and courageous handling of the terror attack targeting worshipers at two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also passed legislation to ban military style and semi automatic weapons. With the phrase “We are one, they are us,” her message was clear. New Zealand was one with the victims and their families, and hate and terror had no place in their country.The Prime Minister who wore a black headscarf when she met with families who had lost loved ones, also announced that the attack would be investigated by a Royal Commission of Inquiry, the nation’s highest form of investigation.
According this report on The Quint, The New York Times said in an editorial that “America deserves a leader as good as Jacinda Ardern,” while the New Yorker magazine said that she had “rewritten the script for how a nation grieves after a terrorist attack”.
(With inputs from The Daily Mail, Wanganui Chronicle.)