With a high-profile Muslim guest, the Christchurch remembrance service was followed by a traditional afternoon prayer held in Hagley Park.
Under the watchful eye of a sniper, the Muslim community could pray in the open. Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, joined in - praying with them and becoming part of their community.
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"It was one of the most moving of experiences and the unity of New Zealand I haven't seen anywhere else. Beautiful," the singer said.
Once the prayer was done, there was a survivor, Mustafa Boztas, being pushed back to the hospital.
"It was amazing and I'm proud to be here," he said.
In his lap, a young boy.
"His father is still in intensive care. This is his son. He's his father. It is very unfortunate our prayers are with him," said Boztas.
The boy's father, Zakeria Tuyan was unable to be at the service because he's in a coma. His parents arrived from Turkey in support, but can't speak English.
Boztas says they hope Tuyan "comes out good".
Tuyan is one of the most severely injured survivors and has undergone many surgerie - his young son in the hands of a friend.
A reminder for everyone that the 'absent friends' include a survivor fighting for his life.