It has been five years since the downing of the flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which took the lives of all 298 people on board (196 of whom were Dutch nationals). As a tribute, a small-scale commemoration was held today at Hilversum, as well as a commemoration at the National Monument MH17 at Park Vijfhuizen.
The National Monument MH17 at Vijfhuizen
A project started by the relatives of the victims and the MH17 Disaster Foundation (Stichting Vliegramp MH17), it is a forest monument, where there were 298 trees and sunflowers planted in the shape of the commemorative black ribbon.
Chosen by them, it has become the symbol of the tragedy.
— Flyscarves (@flyscarves) July 17, 2019
Each of the trees that were planted is dedicated to each victim who was lost during the tragedy. You can see this here. The sunflowers are planted around the monument, some of which were specially grown from seeds from Ukraine. They bloom every year during the anniversary of the tragedy.
It is open and accessible for the public 24 hours a day, except for during the national commemoration on July 17, today. Prime Minister Rutte is attending the ceremony as well.
— anna holligan ? (@annaholligan) July 17, 2019
Five years ago Malaysia Airlines flight #MH17 was shot down. Today, we commemorate the 298 victims at the National Monument and around the world, including in KL, with next of kin of the 43 Malaysian victims. We will never forget. We will continue to stand by you (1st photo: ANP) pic.twitter.com/08wgijtaCK
— Karin Mossenlechner (@Mossenlechner) July 17, 2019
Commemoration for victims of MH17 at Hilversum
Hilversum held a small memorial today in remembrance of all the 298 victims (of whom 196 were Dutch nationals). 15 of the victims came from the region. According to NOS, the Mayor of Hilversum Pieter Broertjes said in his speech, “This long march towards finding the truth is necessary for surviving relatives. Only then can they give the sadness a place to accept fate. Life goes on, even though not a day is the same as before the MH17 disaster. We feel it all of them.”
Downing of MH17: What we know so far
The investigation so far tells us the flight was downed by a BUK missile system, which was fired from a place in Ukraine. It was controlled by pro-Russian separatists at the time of the attack. The missile system is said to have been from the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade of the Russian Armed Forces.
The families of the victims got some closure in terms of holding someone responsible when the Joint Investigation Team revealed the names of four suspects who will be prosecuted next year. They are all going to be tried for murder, and court proceedings will commence in the month of March in 2020. The team was established in 2014 and is comprised of authorities who come from the countries who were most affected (The Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Belgium).
If you want to know more about it, Bellingcat has released its investigative podcast today.
The Bellingcat Podcast – MH17, launches on July 17th. An in-depth look at the events surrounding the downing of MH17 in six parts, with dozens of interviews with investigators, journalists, family members, and experts involved in the case. Available on all good podcast apps. pic.twitter.com/FJwJTagCu4
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) July 15, 2019
Sad stuff and we won’t forget the downing of MH17 and the victims…