Bill's Speeches

MH17 MEMORIAL SERVICE

MH17 MEMORIAL SERVICE

 

THE GREAT HALL, PARLIAMENT HOUSE

 

CANBERRA

 

FRIDAY, 17 JULY 2015

 

***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

 

Families and friends of those lost on MH-17,

Today, around the world strangers unknown to each other before this tragedy have marked together a long year, lived in sadness.

A year of unfinished conversations, of pondering what if and why, of familiar places changed forever.

A year where you have probably put up more photos of your loved ones than ever before.

A year when birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries have come and gone.

Remembered but not shared, commemorated but not celebrated.

This is a grief our nation knows.

As children, as parents, as brothers and sisters, Australians have walked the lonely road of mourning.

But none of us can truly understand the added burden that you've had to share.

That cruel unfair shaft of fate, those anxious first few hours checking and rechecking flight times and numbers with disbelieving eyes and mounting dread.

The glare of a public spotlight on private grief, the faces of the people you love rolling across our television screens .

And the unfinished journey to justice, waiting for the perpetrators of this incomprehensible crime to be brought to account.

Grief is a solitary emotion.

It can come up behind you like a following wave, in unguarded moments.

There is no right or wrong way to mourn.

For all of us who have lost someone we love, as much as we might feel in those first few immediate days of shock and grief as if time is frozen and all clocks must stop, perhaps the hardest part for those who are left behind is accepting that life does go on.

Something else becomes the news, the daily routine reclaims us somewhat.

Our children grow up, we grow older.

The rawness of scars heals.

In time even acute memories fade.

Memories fade, but memorials endure.

So even though no set of words, no inscription on a plaque can remotely capture the depth of loss or the sense of sadness that you feel.

Even though no memorial can truly speak for the love and the laughter taken far too soon, the potential and the possibility left unfulfilled.

The memorial that we dedicated earlier today will stand for all time in tribute to the people you loved and lost.

It is a way whereby all Australians can at least know who.

It speaks to the warm embrace of our country that we offer you, now and always.

It will ensure that the family and friends you mourn are never forgotten.

May the souls of flight MH17, join the flight of angels in eternal peace.

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053