Memorial service at Kuala Lumpur airport to mark first MH17 anniversary

A July 18, 2014, photo shows a piece of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Shaktarsk, Ukraine, a day after it crashed.
A July 18, 2014, photo shows a piece of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Shaktarsk, Ukraine, a day after it crashed.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - There will not be a dry eye among family members of Malaysian victims onboard MH17 who will gather on Saturday at a memorial service at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) ahead of the first anniversary of the tragedy.

The Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine on July 17.

The past year has been tough for Mariyam Yusoff, for instance. Her husband Capt Wan Amran Wan Hussain was the pilot of the ill-fated plane.

 

The mother of two young boys said she has accepted her husband's death as fate but acknowledged that her heart "has never stopped crying".

 

"Most of the next of kin have moved on but there is still sadness whenever we remember our loved ones. This memorial is definitely going to make us cry again," she told The Star Online.

Mariyam said that the next of kin had become a support group for each other since the tragedy.

She will be attending the memorial with her sons Wan Yunus Uzair, 12, and Wan Yusuf Irfan, 10.

The simple and solemn memorial service will be held at 10am at the Bunga Raya Complex of the KLIA, where the remains of the victims were flown in last year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin and other members of the Cabinet will be at the memorial.

A video screening of the events around the MH17 tragedy and observance of a moment's silence will be part of the memorial.

Noor Aini Mohd Noor, the sister of passenger Noor Rahimah Mohd Noor, said: "Even without the ceremony, we will still be sad thinking of our loved ones.

"We just hope that we can keep it together there."

Ahmad Tarmizi Ismail, the husband of stewardess Hamfazlin Sham Mohamed Arifin, said their nine-year-old son was still asking about his mother.

"My son has been slowly accepting that she is gone. But he always lets his emotions out when he is lonely. He misses his mother," he said, adding that his three-year-old second son was not even old enough to know his mother.

"One day he will also be asking about her and I will have to tell him. For now, I am both mother and father to them," he said.

In Penang, Jagjit Kaur said she has left her son Sanjid Singh Sandhu's stuff untouched at their home.

"Everything is the same as before. His credit card bills and others that were sent to the house are left there untouched.

"I feel that he is still there and will always be with us," she said, adding that although she still missed her steward son, life had to go on.

She and her husband Jijar Singh will not attend the official memorial service as they will be holding prayers at the Sikh Gurdwara in Penang. Sanjid's wife Tan Bee Geok and son Hans may be at KLIA.