Christchurch mosque attack: Survivors and their families to speak at National Remembrance Service

New Zealand's darkest day will be remembered on Saturday, with thousands expected to attend the National Remembrance Service in Christchurch.

It's been almost two years since 51 people were gunned down at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on March 15, 2019.

Newshub was invited to join a group of victims who are bravely preparing to speak publicly.

With scars both inside and out, the events of March 15 are clear in Temel Atacocugu's memory.

On Saturday, he's hoping his speech will be too.

"One-hundred times I read it, but still I feel I need to look down," he says.

Atacocugu's speech for the National Remembrance Service will represent those injured in the attacks.

Dr Kiran Munir will also speak. Her husband, Dr Haroon Mahmood, was among those murdered while worshipping during Friday prayer at Al Noor Mosque.

Public speaking is new to her, and she is anxious to deliver her speech. 

"I don't know how I'm going to do on stage, but yeah, I'm not overconfident," she says.

Carol Kirk, a personal development trainer, is helping to amplify their voices.

 "What happens is if the nerves kick in and if you've got that doubt in your mind, your whole mind just goes blank and you just don't know what you're going to say - and then you panic," Kirk says.

On Saturday, the victims and families will deliver their speeches at the Christchurch Arena in front of several thousand people - and streamed to many more around the world.

Maha Elmadani will speak in memory of her father Ali Elmadani.

"I know he is there with me. He's there," she says.

She hopes he'll be proud. 

"He came to New Zealand with the intent to provide us with the best education, so I think to get up on stage and speak as a New Zealander, I think that's what he'd have liked to see as well."

It's a daunting task they say is not just for their community, but for their country.