WASHINGTON (WJLA) – On Friday evening, people in the District hit the streets to mourn the 298 lives lost in Thursday’s deadly plane crash in the Ukraine. A candlelight vigil and march from the Embassy of the Netherlands to the Malaysia Embassy paid tribute to each innocent life cut short.
In Ukraine, crews are combing through the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This comes as U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the United Nations Security Council that the United States can’t rule out that Russia played a role in the missile strike that brought down the plane. At this time, Russia denies any involvement in the deadly crash.
The march was a silent, solemn walk of remembrance. Through candles and flowers, mourners found a way to honor the 298 individuals who perished aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
“Just think about the people who passed away,” said Russian-American Masha Morton.
For D.C. resident Berber Kramer, this is personal; she knew two of the 100 AIDS researchers who were killed—one, a colleague, the other, a friend.
“I saw a message of a friend of mine, with his name in there saying, ‘Oh my God, no, dammit, no,’” she said.
As investigators sift through the crash site—the smell of jet fuel everywhere—President Obama offered his thoughts and prayers.
“Men, women, children, infants, who have nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine,” he said.
U.S. officials say it was a single missile, fired from a section of Ukraine controlled by Russian separatists. President Obama pointed the finger squarely at Russia.
“A group of separatists can’t shoot down a military transport plane, or—they claim—shoot down fighter jets, without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training,” he said.
Ukrainian-American Nataliya Bondar said, “It’s a very big tragedy for Ukraine, because Ukraine has been a peaceful country."
As the group of Ukrainian-Americans, Russian-Americans and others walked from the Embassy of the Netherlands to the Malaysian Embassy on Friday evening, they prayed and hoped for justice for those lives lost.
“You cannot understand how it’s possible,” Morton said. “At least we can bring some flowers and just share this moment.”