Malaysia Air Flight MH-17: Tragic Ending for So Many Children and Innocents

Many of us were surprised to hear about the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight.  The remains of Flight 370 have still not been found.  The disappearance of this flight left many of us bewildered as to how a passenger jet can disappear without a trace.  Someone is working on a movie as we speak.  Lawyers tried to sue Malaysia Airlines in the U.S. but the suits were thrown out.  This most recent tragedy is sad for the 80 children that perished when the plane was shot down.  Also, it involves an unfolding civil war and the tacit approval of a world superpower.

For many Families, this is a time for vacations and a break from the work routine.  It is a blessing to be able to have your children explore new places and see new things.  This flight also was carrying a number of leading AIDS researchers who were headed to a conference.  We hear less about HIV and AIDS in the United States but the disease still ravages many families in Africa, Asia and around the world.   Flight MH-17 was boarded by Dr. Joep Lange and colleagues Martine de Schutter and Pim de Kuijer among 100 others.  These were cutting edge researchers on their way to the 2014 AIDS Symposium.

The circumstances of the crash are stunning.  It seems as if the plane was hit by a surface to air missile.  I would think that this passenger plane posed no threat to the individuals involved in the civil conflict currently unfolding in the Ukraine.  It appears from satellite images that the missiles were moved across the Ukrainian border from Russia and then moved back, minus a missile, across the Russian border.  The plane was flying at 33,000 feet and should have been safe from this ground war.  There are accusations going back and forth now about how much Russia knew and how involved they were.  President Putin has not mad an official response.

Two other passenger planes went down this week under other circumstances.  An Air Algerie AH-5017 flight went down in Mali.  Over 100 people lost their lives in this accident.  A Trans Asia flight went down on the small island of Penghu.  Almost 50 people lost this lives in this tragedy.  Air travel is still considered to be much safer than any other mode of transportation.  The fact that humans are powerless to save themselves from a mechanical failure or an act of human cowardice while in the air is very evident.  We cannot live in fear and continue to progress with regards to our goals though.

Kaela Goes was only twenty-one months old when this plane was shot out of the sky.  What threat did she present to whoever decided to down this plane?  Amel Wales, Margaux, Manix and Piers van den Hende also will not start a school year again.  This is a tragedy of major proportions.  Whole families perished in this accident also.  Andrew Hoare, his wife Estella and sons Jasper and Friso also perished on the flight.  It was said that personal belongings were looted.  Those things mean nothing to people who would do anything to hold their loved ones again.  I hope that this week can begin the healing process for the families and communities affected by this crisis.  

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