“I love you, even when I’m sleeping. When I close my eyes, you’re everywhere.”
Those words were sung as montages of victims of the MH17 disaster over Ukraine flashed across the screen during the Melbourne memorial service, a poignant reminder of the value a civilised society places on human life.
The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Prime Minister and opposition leader, premiers and chief ministers were among 1800 people who gathered at St Patrick’s cathedral alongside friends and family to mark Australia’s National Day of Mourning for those shot out of the sky almost three weeks ago.
“Children have lost parents, and parents have lost children… there will be a time to judge the guilty, but today we honour the dead and we grieve with the living. We cannot bring them back, but we will bring them home,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the nation – comforting words for those left behind.
As the Australian Boy’s Choir sang, friends and family of the 38 Australian victims made their way to front of the cathedral to lay wattle blossoms in honour of their loved ones.
Flags around our country were flown at half-mast and church bells rang out at midday in tribute to the lives lost.
As the Maslin family, who lost three children and a grandfather in the accident put it, so beautifully and magnanimously, “Love conquers hate.” – Georgia Simpson
Top photo from Timothy Swinson’s Flickr photostream.