A year has passed.
We look at each other and say: That went by so fast. But not for 35 Australian families. For those families, the last year has lasted a lifetime.
For most of us, it seems like only yesterday that MH17 crashed in a field of sunflowers. We can still see the plane’s crumpled metal remnants lying in stark contrast to the tall, bright, sunny flowers around it. Bodies and belongings – travel books, children’s toys and prized photos – strewn around the field of death as a plume of black smoke billows from the smouldering remains.
But for some it has been a very long year. A painful year. A year that can never be forgotten or skipped over. A year of silence. A year when every milestone, every special day was under a shadow.
For the families of the 298 people who died on July 17 last year when the doomed carrier was shot down over a Ukraine field, about 40km from the Russian border, it has been a year of grief.
And for them too, it has been a year without resolution. A year of waiting, with no answers. Three hundred and sixty five days of not knowing. A year with no justice.
For many Australians, there are three faces that bring back the horror of this tragedy.
Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and eight-year-old Otis Maslin were travelling home from an overseas family adventure with their grandfather, Nick Norris, when the disaster struck. Their parents, Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris, described their pain shortly after as “intense and relentless”.
“We live in a hell beyond hell,” they said.