Emotional unveiling of Netherlands MH17 memorial

Family members and politicians from around the world gathered in Amsterdam to remember the lives lost on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.


The memorial site is a short drive from Schipol airport, where three years ago 298 passengers boarded the fateful flight.

A curved steel monument inscribed with the names of those killed in the disaster was unveiled during the ceremony.

Evert van Zijtveld is the Chairman of the MH17 Disaster Foundation and lost his daughter and son in the disaster.

He said the new monument would give loved ones somewhere to mourn.

“We now have a beautiful monument. A monument where we can commemorate together. And where you can commemorate in peace by yourself and share the sadness to retrieve beautiful memories of our loved ones.”

There are 298 trees – one to represent each victim – planted at the memorial site in the shape of a ribbon to symbolise hope and the future.

Mr van Zijtveld says the search for justice will continue.

“The realisation of this monument doesn’t mean we’ve finished our work. The foundation ‘Flight Disaster MH17’ won’t sit still and won’t be silent until the guilty have been found.”

As the Royal Netherlands air force orchestra played, the Dutch king and queen joined local children placing sunflowers at the foot of the monument.

Much of the wreckage of flight MH17 came down in a field bordered by sunflowers.

During the ceremony more than 50 relatives read out the names and ages of those lost, many in tears with their voices breaking with emotion.

“Our beloved son and brother, Jack Samuel O’Brien, 25 years.”

“To our beloved husband, father and grandfather, Nicoll Charles Anderson Norris, 68 years.”

“Our beautiful children, Mo Masland, 12, Evie Masland, 10, and Otis Masland, 8.”

The event concluded with a minute’s silence.

A memorial service was also held in eastern Ukraine where local residents gathered at the crash site for a religious ceremony.

Last year international investigators concluded that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile over eastern Ukrainian territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

Moscow rejects the findings.