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The veteran of World War II, 95, drives four buses to march to the mosques in New Zealand



A 95-year veteran of World War II allegedly drove four buses on a solidarity march against racism on Sunday in Auckland, New Zealand, in response to the attacks by the Christchurch Mosque.

Howick's John Sato, 95, told Radio New Zealand (RNZ) that he has not slept well since the March 15 attacks of the Christchurch, in which a 24-year-old white chief attendant shot open at two mosques In the south of New Zealand, 50 Muslims were killed.

"I stayed awake quite often at night, I have not slept well since then, I thought it was so sad, you can feel the suffering of other people." Sato said.

The World War II veteran, who admitted to rarely leaving his neighborhood in Howick, a suburb of Auckland, left his home at 10 am to take a bus to the neighboring suburb of Pakuranga, which was about 15 Minutes away, to show him respect in a local mosque.

Sato decided to be moved by the many flowers and embassies, and then sat down in another bus to drive to a march against racism in the city center, which was about 45 to 50 minutes away, depending on the bus route. Two bus transfers later, and Sato arrived at the rally on Aotea Square, the New York Post reported.

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Sato, whose mother was Scottish and his father were Japanese, was one of only two kiwis Japanese recruited to fight Japan during World War II. Although he told the RNZ that he had lost touch with modern life, Sato said he felt compelled to join the march against racism.

"I think it's such a tragedy, and yet it has the other side, it brought people together no matter what race or what, people suddenly realized we were all one, we're worried around each other, "said Sato.

  John Sato, 95, one of only two Japanese soldiers of the New Zealand Army in World War II, picked up two Howick buses on the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand.

John Sato, 95, one of only two Japanese soldiers of the New Zealand Army in World War II, participated in two Howick buses Take part in the march against racism at Aotea Square on March 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand.
(Fiona Goodall / Getty Images)

Although many people were amazed at the way the 95-year-old traveled to the march, Sato joked that taking the bus was a cinch compared to running. Once the veteran was photographed when he was helped by a policeman named Constable Rob and actor Bruce Hopkins, best known for playing Gamling in the movie trilogy "The Lord of the Rings."

"Sitting in a bus is much more comfortable than walking," he said jokingly. "You know you just sit back and you're comfortable and you feel lazy. You are brought along, you do not have to walk. It saves your shoes. "

Sato lost his wife 15 years ago, and his daughter, who was born blind, died last year. The 95-year-old's journey home was easier than the one he had come to.

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. A policeman took me all the way home and waited there until he saw me climbing the stairs. Very gracious, "Sato told RNZ, adding," This tragedy in Christchurch – look at what it has produced in humans. It shows the best of humanity.

Sato said life was too short to be wasted on meaningless things like hatred. He said he hopes that the Christchurch tragedy is a wake-up call for many to understand people from different backgrounds.

"We all go through our oven in a certain way and some of the things that happen to us will make you more hopeful," said Sato to RNZ.


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