As soon as the news broke last Friday that there had been a tragic shooting at two separate New Zealand mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern jumped into action. The 37-year-old not only gave eloquent and inspiring speeches encouraging the community in the wake of the tragedy, but she personally took action. She visited memorials for those who had lost their lives and comforted their heartbroken family members. Ardern is now being praised globally for the compassion she exuded while dealing with the aftermath of the event, according to NDTV.
This isn’t the first time Ardern has gained vast media attention. In June of 2018, she became a first-time mother to her daughter Neve. At the time, she was only the second world leader to give birth while in office, showing that it is possible to maintain a fast-paced career and be an active mother. As a political leader, she was known for being young, female, and progressive.
However, it could be argued that the events of last week could be the most challenging circumstance Ardern has faced thus far while in office. Yet, she has taken it all in stride truly proving herself as a strong and determined leader — exactly what the nation needed.
PM Jacinda Ardern says NZ will ban all military-style weapons and, assault rifles, high capacity magazines and parts that can turn a weapon into a military-style weapon.https://t.co/PN5Vvn2uJN
— RNZ (@radionz) March 21, 2019
On Saturday, Ardern visited Christchurch to meet with the families of the victims. She wore a black hijab as a sign of respect to the Muslim community. She was photographed slowly making her way down the line of weeping family members, taking her time to greet each one individually. She embraced them as if they were family with visible emotion on her face. Ardern also assured the family members that they wouldn’t need to worry about financials, as she would be covering the funeral costs of all 50 victims.
Political commentator Bryce Edwards commended the prime minister’s kind and caring response.
“Ardern’s performance has been extraordinary – and I believe she will be strongly lauded for it both domestically and internationally.”
A video of Ardern comforting a weeping family member of one of the victims has gone viral and touched the hearts of many. London literary agent Jonny Geller was one of the many to praise her as a true leader.
“Can you imagine having a leader of a country showing this kind of empathy? Thank you, Jacinda Ardern, for reminding the world what a Leader is and could be.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were among the other well known political figures to also visit Christchurch to pay their respects.