The tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH17 will turn a year old next month. To commemorate the sad but fateful event, the governments of Australia, the Netherlands and Malaysia will hold services on July 17.
On that day, the Australian flag will be flown at half-mast on all Commonwealth buildings throughout the country.
Australia announced a monument will be unveiled that day to remember the 298 passengers and crew who perished from the disaster. At least 39 Australian citizens and permanent residents were killed when MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. These included Perth siblings Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and eight-year-old Otis Maslin, as well as their grandfather Nick Norris.
Moreover, the national service will also serve as opportunity for the government to thank the officials and all who worked zealously to recover the remains of the Australian victims, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
“We remind ourselves of the compelling words of the Maslin parents that love conquers hate,” Mr Abbott said. “We took the families of MH17 into our hearts a year ago. I hope that this service might help sustain them as they face this very, very difficult anniversary.”
Financial Express, citing Fox News, reported the plaque will be unveiled in the gardens in the House of Representatives.
“We continue to support families who deal with the pain of loss and who have a deep yearning for justice,” Mr Abbott said.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was believed to have been targeted and destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile. Ukraine and the West said the weapon was launched by Russian forces or separatist rebels fighting in the area. The Boeing 777 aircraft was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down.