The tragedy befalling Malaysian Airlines MH17 has caused much grief and sadness to the nation. Taking cognisance of this, Soroptimist International (SI) Ipoh, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), organised a remembrance event aptly named, “A Walk in the Park: In Memory of MH17”.
The objective was to express sympathies for the 298 victims of the ill-fated flight, which was shot down while flying over war-torn Ukraine on Thursday, July 17.
The walk, held on the morning of Saturday, August 8 at Taman Rekreasi Sultan Abdul Aziz, Ipoh (Polo Ground), saw some 500 people partaking in the solemn event. Most were dressed in white and holding 298 stalks of chrysanthemum, symbolising the number of victims, as they walked around the park.
Lanka Devi, President of SI Ipoh, told reporters that the walk was one of the first in the country. It was jointly organised with another NGO, Malaysians for Malaysia, to show support and empathy for family members of the victims.
“We’ve prepared a book of condolence for people to sign and balloons to be released, as a form of remembrance for the victims of MH17,” she said. “We hope the conduct of this event will enable family members of the victims to find solace and comfort knowing that the society cares. It’s also to show that Malaysians care and support one another in our moments of grief regardless of race and belief,” Lanka added.
She disclosed that the book of condolence, signed by the people who were there, would be sent to the Malaysian Airlines headquarters in Kuala Lumpur for its keep. By doing so the memories of those who were killed in the air disaster would be remembered.
Volunteers from Wesley Methodist School, Ipoh came out in full force to assist for a good cause. The event came to a close with the release of 298 white-coloured balloons by Lanka Devi.