95-year-old New Zealand man takes 4 buses to join anti-racism rally

A 95-year-old New Zealand man who was deeply moved in the wake of the recent Christchurch mosque shootings went to great lengths to show support for his country.

John Sato, a World War II veteran from Auckland, told Radio New Zealand that he has struggled to sleep since learning of the March 15 attacks, which left 50 victims dead at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.

"I stayed awake quite a lot at the night. I didn't sleep too well ever since," he told the station. "I thought it was so sad. You can feel the suffering of other people."

When Sato learned about various vigils and memorial events taking place over the weekend to honor the victims of the shootings, he decided to take a bus from his home in Howick into the nearby city of Pakuranga to visit a mosque on March 24. After seeing the many flowers and messages left behind at the religious building, Sato felt inspired to travel to Auckland's city center.

Finally, following a long trek which included multiple bus transfers, Sato arrived at his destination and joined in with thousands in a march up Wellesley Street to protest racism.

Photos from the march: 

14 PHOTOS
95-year-old New Zealand man takes 4 busses to join anti-racism rally
See Gallery
95-year-old New Zealand man takes 4 busses to join anti-racism rally
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: John Sato (C) 95, one of only two Japanese servicemen in the New Zealand army in WWII, took two buses from Howick to join the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: John Sato (C) 95, one of only two Japaenses servicemen in the New Zealand army in WWII, took two buses from Howick to join the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: John Sato (C) 95, one of only two Japaenses servicemen in the New Zealand army in WWII, took two buses from Howick to join the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: John Sato (C) 95, one of only two Japaenses servicemen in the New Zealand army in WWII, took two buses from Howick to join the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: A woman marches up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Thousands march up Wellesley St to rally against racism on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: A woman looks on during a march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: People gather to march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: A woman carries her son during a march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The veteran, who told Radio New Zealand that he was one of only two Kiwi-Japanese men recruited into the New Zealand army during WWII to fight against Japan, said he was overwhelmed by the kindness he was shown at the march.

He was especially touched by the actions of an attentive police officer, who helped him march, got him a water bottle and even brought him back to his home afterward.

"[The officer] took me all the way home, waited down there until he saw me getting up the stairs," Sato told the station. "The tragedy in Christchurch, look at what it brought out in people. It shows the best of humanity."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.