For the second time in just over three months a tragedy has befallen a Malaysia Airlines flight. Today, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by a surface to air missile in Ukraine near the Russian border. All 295 passengers and crew were killed.
No one has claimed responsibility for the act, but the Ukrainian and Russians blame each other for the incident. Last night, a Ukrainian war plane was shot down and Ukrainian officials say it was done by a Russian jet fighter.
While culpability has not been confirmed in either incident when I heard about the Malaysia Airlines flight being shot down I could not help but think about Korean Airlines Flight 007 which was shot down by a Soviet interceptor on September 1, 1983 killing all 269 passengers and crew including Congressman Larry McDonald, a conservative Democrat from Georgia.
To say that it has an been awful year for the people of Malaysia would be an understatement. In March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared over the Indian Ocean resulting in the deaths of 239 passengers and crew. It has been speculated that this was a result of sabotage by the pilot though this has not been proven conclusively. Despite a massive ongoing search effort the plane’s wreckage has yet to be found.
UPDATE: It has also been a truly awful year for an Australian woman named Kaylene Mann who lost her brother on Flight 370 and has now lost her stepdaughter on MH17.