June 23, 2005
Maybe never is better than late?
Air India Flight 182 crashed off the coast of Ireland 20 years ago today, killing all 329 aboard - mostly Canadians. The bomb that was planted in the plane was loaded here in Vancouver. A second bomb went off in Narita, Japan later that same day, killing two baggage handlers and wounding four. I mention this background, because I don't believe it's widely reported outside of Canada. I could be wrong, though...but I don't think I am.

Today, June 23 has now been declared a National Day of Mourning for Canadians in honour of the horrific bombing off the coast of Ireland in 1985. The largest one day death toll due to terrorism prior to 9/11.

I heard the Prime Minister's address this morning, which in part he says:
And for years to come on the 23rd of June, we will formally mark a National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism -- a time both to remember those who have died at the cold hand of hate and to renew our determination to stand resolute against those who would seek to bring terror upon the world.
While I don't for one second diminish the loss that the 329 families experienced that day, nor the horror of the next 2 decades of fumbling bureaucratic messes, justice denied and immeasurable grief, isn't this sudden change of heart a little disrespectful?

Where were these half-mast flags for the past 20 years prior to this? Ireland certainly seems to have done the honourable thing and built a memorial at the site, but in Canada, the home of more than half the victims, what have we done? Where, after a 20 year criminal investigation which inevitably ended in acquittal, is the inquiry? The public scrutiny into what went wrong?

A half-hearted promise of:
To the families whose loved ones were lost on Flight 182 – I say to you today that with your help and guidance, we will build in Canada a permanent memorial to those who perished.
One day. Just like one day, we might actually be able to provide some sort of closure to this community who has gone through one failed investigation after another.

Read the rest of Martin's speech here.

I find this whole display by the government today to be a slap in the face to the families and those directly affected by the tragedy.

As one of the victim's surviving family put it:
We appreciate it, but it's too late," said Radhakrishna, who was commemorating the death of wife Nagu, daughter Jyothi and son Thejus.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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