Special vigil planned in North Van for Iran plane crash victims

In honour of those who lost their lives in a plane crash in Iran that killed all 176 people on board, a candlelight memorial and vigil is taking place in North Vancouver Tuesday evening.

The seventh-day vigil is occurring one week after the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in Tehran, where 57 Canadians, including seven members of the North Shore’s Persian community, lost their lives.

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A poster for the event, which is being organized by North Shore Multicultural Society with support from the City of North Vancouver, invites people to: “come together as a community to remember those who have passed and support one another with empathy and compassion.”

North Vancouver residents Ayeshe Pourghaderi, Fatemeh Pasavand, Delaram Dadashnejad, Daniel Saket, Faye Kazerani, Naser Pourshabanoshibi and Firouzeh Madani were among those killed in the plane crash.

The vigil is set to take place on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the city’s Civic Plaza, located by Lonsdale Avenue and 13th Street.

“This is when the whole community needs to come together to take care of those who are hurting and grieving and mourning,” said Wendy McCulloch, executive director of North Shore Multicultural Society. “We would love the whole community to come together for this.”

It won’t be the first vigil held on the North Shore so far. Last Wednesday evening, the day after the plane crash, a makeshift vigil was set up outside Amir Bakery in Central Lonsdale which included messages of condolence, bouquets of flowers and candles commemorating those who died.

Amir Pasavand, owner of the bakery, lost his wife Ayeshe Pourghaderi and daughter Fatemeh Pasavand in the plane crash.

As reported by the Canadian Press, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged that it was an Iranian missile that took down Ukraine International Airlines flight 752.

Rouhani posted on Twitter that an investigation concluded “missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash.”

In a news conference in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed outrage at what he referred to as “a tragedy that should not have happened.”

“Shooting down a civilian aircraft is horrific. Iran must take full responsibility,” Trudeau said.

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