MH17 As the international community is still searching for the truth behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17, Malaysians in New York City held a candlelight vigil last night to mourn the death of all 298 on board.
About 60 people, mostly Malaysian students and professionals living in the city, as well as several Americans, Singaporeans, Moroccans and Indonesians, gathered at Washington Square Park at 9pm with flowers and candles in support and prayer to the families of the deceased.
"The thought (of what happened to MH17) is so hard to sink in. So I decided someone must do something to gather all Malaysians together to show support because it is very hard to take it alone," said Ray Tan, a hedge fund manager who organised the event with several friends.
A letter by Khing Jow Ng, the cousin of Qing Zhen Ng, an engineer who boarded MH17 after a business trip to Amsterdam, was read out by the organiser.
"All hopes were shattered when my fourth aunt called to break the news... I thought about my uncle and aunt, how are they going to take the news that they lost their only son.
"I thought about the young wife who lost a husband, (and) the four-year-old who lost a dad," reads the letter.
Khing Jow apologises in the letter for not attending the event as "the wound is still too raw for me and the family".
Photos of Malaysian passengers on the flight were displayed and a cardboard box was placed on the ground for participants to leave their messages.
"Even in a time of darkness, it is best that we reach out to one another, to give them light, give them support, give them hope, give them the love that everyone needs," one participant Sharon Lam said, breaking into tears.
Her friend had been one of the 227 passengers on MH370, another MAS flight that went missing on Mar 8, believed to be over the south Indian Ocean but is yet to be found.