News World Moving tributes, chilling memories of MH17 victims
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Moving tributes, chilling memories of MH17 victims

Tributes are placed in memory of the victims of flight MH17.
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As grieving families mourn the death of their loved ones in the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disaster, moving tributes have flowed around the world.

The grief stricken West Australian couple who lost their three children in the Ukraine plane disaster say they are living in “a hell beyond hell”.

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Lives cut short: The Maslin children Evie, Mo and Otis. Photo: AAP

Mo Maslin, 12, his 10-year-old sister Evie, eight-year-old brother Otis and grandfather Nick Norris were among up to 39 Australian citizens and residents killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

The children’s father Anthony Maslin and mother Marite (Rin) Norris on Wednesday issued an official statement directed at soldiers in Ukraine, politicians, the media, and friends and family.

“Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell,” they said.

“Our babies are not here with us – we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.

“No one deserves what we are going through.

“Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.”

“No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other.”

Mr and Mrs Maslin said it was a revelation to them that no hate in the world was as strong as the love they have for their children and Mr Norris, who was escorting the trio back to Perth for the start of school.

“This is a revelation that gives up some comfort.

“We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror,” they said.

They thanked family and friends who had surrounded them since they arrived home in Perth.

“We ask the media to respect the privacy of our family and friends – pain is not a story.”

Final farewell

An airline ground crew member who checked passengers in for doomed flight MH17 has made an emotional post on Facebook, recalling sending off holidaymakers, children and grandparents with wishes for “a pleasant flight”.

In the post, which has been shared almost 10,000 times, Birbal said she asked two football fans with business class tickets whether they would like to sit together. After a moment’s hesitation, one joked, “No, I want some rest.”

“The last time I saw them… I wished them a pleasant flight”

“It was busy at the check-in desk, so I went there to help my colleagues,” she wrote, remembering “a child smiling and waving at me.”

452372068A total of 298 people, 80 of them children, from 11 different countries died when the plane exploded over rebel-held Ukraine, allegedly blown out of the sky by missile fired by pro-Russian separatists.

“Mom when do we see our luggage again?” asked one excited child.

“A man who is about to start a new life in Malaysia… a family get dropped off by their grandparents, kids first holiday far away,” remembered the airline employee.

“Grandma makes photos of how her children and grandchildren check in. This time I do not mind that I am in the picture.

“A newly married couple, on the way to their honeymoon… a beautiful little girl held by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller. She’s so beautiful, a half Dutch half Malaysian with beautiful big eyes. She kindly smiled at me.

“A man who could still join the flight to be on time for the funeral of his mother. Grandchildren travelling with their grandparents.

“Suddenly I see a familiar face, it is our colleague from the MH ticket counter. He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved ‘See you soon’.”

“A final farewell to the crew, till next time! And then we removed the bridge.”

“The last time I saw them… I wished them a pleasant flight”

“Rest in peace dear passengers and crew,” Birbal said in her post, signing off “on behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH017 on Thursday July 17.”

Territorians mourn

In Darwin a bishop told hundred who gathered to mourn the three Territorians killed in the disaster that people are not hard-wired to hate one another.

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Candles, flowers and other tributes are laid at a memorial to the MH17 victims in Amsterdam. Photo: Getty

St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin’s CBD was at capacity on Wednesday night for a commemorative mass to remember teacher Emma Bell and public servants Wayne and Teresa Baker.

They were among 298 people killed when their flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine last Thursday in an apparent missile attack thought to be perpetrated by Russian separatists.

Wayne Baker, 55, was enjoying a six-week European holiday, having retired after a long career in the NT government Treasury, and his wife Teresa, 53, was planning to do the same after many years in the Department of Children and Families.

A message was delivered by a friend of their sons Jeff and Steven, who were with their grandparents on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, where the Bakers had planned to move.

“They say thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers … it means a lot to them,” she said.

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