Three years after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, thousands gathered in the Netherlands for the unveiling of a new memorial dedicated to victims who had been onboard.
Relatives and friends of those killed in the incident attended the ceremony Monday, along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and members of the country’s royal family, at a park near Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. The site includes a monument with the names of victims, as well as a “living memorial” in the shape of a ribbon that features one tree planted for each person that died.
All 298 passengers and crew members aboard flight MH17 were killed on July 17, 2014, after a surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist territory struck the jetliner. The incident spurred international condemnation and a lengthy investigation to determine the events leading up to the killings. A Dutch-led criminal probe is still ongoing, but investigators last September announced they had concluded the plane was downed by a Buk missile that was transported to eastern Ukraine from Russia.
The flight was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, but was taken down near the Russian border as conflict raged in eastern Ukraine. Most of the passengers on board the jet were Dutch, and included some of world’s top HIV researchers who were on their way to a conference.