When the Ukrainian airliner was allegedly shot down over Iran this week, the pain and loss was felt here in Syracuse. The local Ukrainian community is planning a memorial service tomorrow to remember all the victims. Lida Burniak said the incident was more than just a tragedy involving a Ukrainian plane.
“This involves multi-national passengers and it’s a humanitarian issue for a loss of innocent lives. So if we could come together and pray together, things (would ) look more optimistically that there’s something more beyond politics,” said Burniak
Burniak heads the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America here in Syracuse. The deadly incident reminds her of the 2014 shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines flight in Ukraine, with innocent victims caught in the crossfire of other nations’ conflicts. Both crashes have also been linked to Russian-made missiles.
She said youth should know about the tragedy so the service planned for Saturday will include youth at the Ukrainian School. And Burniak said they want to connect with other groups that have historically been targeted.
“We are hoping to reach out to other ethnic groups like the Armenian community. We want to speak to people of the Jewish faith who suffered to the tragedy of the holocaust to see if we can start going to each other’s event and supporting each other,” said Burniak
The memorial service takes place Tomorrow morning at Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on Tompkins Street in Tipperary Hill, starting at 9:30