“Malaysia Airlines MH17: Shrine of remembrance grows outside Netherlands embassy in Canberra
By Clarissa Thorpe
Posted 7 minutes ago
The teddy bears left outside the embassy gates are to remember the 80 children killed on board MH17.
Photo: The teddy bears left outside the embassy gates are to remember the 80 children killed on board MH17. (ABC News: Clarissa Thorpe)
Map: Yarralumla 2600
Flowers and gifts have been left outside the front of the embassy of the Netherlands in Canberra in honour of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia, Annemieke Ruigrok, said she was overwhelmed by the kindness shown since the plane was shot down over Ukraine.
The Boeing 777-200 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with an estimated 190 passengers on board the tragic flight being Dutch citizens or permanent residents.
Initially, there was only a handful of flowers at the embassy front gates but in less than 24 hours the shrine included teddy bears to remember the 80 children killed.
Ms Ruigrok said many people were still coming to terms with the devastating loss of life.
“It was an absolutely unspeakable tragedy and we are extremely touched by all these expressions of support,” she said.
“Also people writing emails, letters and support on our Facebook page.
“We are united in grief.”
Flags at the embassy had been flying at half mast to remember those lost in the worst air disaster in the Netherlands’ history.
“We know that Australia has a big loss, and we have had a big loss,” Ms Ruigrok said.
“All nationalities, we mourn all of them wherever they are from.”
The embassy at Yarralumla is considering opening a book of condolence later this week for people to express their sadness.
Flags at all Dutch government buildings including the embassy in Australia have been flying at half mast.
Photo: Flags at all Dutch government buildings including the embassy in Australia have been flying at half mast to remember those lost on MH17.” (ABC News: Clarissa Thorpe)