Australians yesterday remembered those killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at church services, as stories emerged of parents losing children, and doctors, teachers and a nun among the dead, reports Yahoo7.
Twenty-eight of the 298 people on the plane apparently shot down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday were Australians, while eight more were permanent residents of the country.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who attended a Catholic Mass in Sydney, spoke of the nation's anguish, saying there would hardly be any Australians who hadn't been emotionally touched by the tragedy.
'You look at the faces of the dead and they're your neighbours, they're your friends, they could be your kids because let's face it, we are a people who like to travel,' he told the ABC. 'My own daughters flew on MH17 some months ago on their way home from Europe. So this is a tragedy which touches us deeply.'
Bishop Peter Comensoli, who led the Mass at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral, said the downing of MH17 was not an accident, but 'the outcome of a trail of human evil.'
In Melbourne, a special Mass was held for the HIV/AIDS experts and campaigners who had boarded the Malaysia Airlines flight as they made their way to that city for an international AIDS conference.
The media has been filled with the stories of those Australians killed, including 12-year-old Mo Maslin and his siblings, Otis, 8, and Evie, 10, who were travelling home with their grandfather Nick Norris.
Their parents Rin Norris and Anthony Maslin had decided to stay a few days longer in Amsterdam and so were not on the flight, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
In Melbourne, others were struggling to come to terms with the death of Hans van den Hende, his wife, Shaliza Dewa, and their three children Piers, 13, Marnix, 12, and Margaux, 8.
While in Queensland, the town of Toowoomba was mourning the deaths of Roger and Jill Guard, both doctors, who died as they were returning to Australia after attending a medical conference.
Catholic Sacred Heart Sister Philomene Tiernan, 77, who had been associated with Sydney's Kincoppal-Rose Bay School, teaching thousands of students over more than 30 years, is also among the dead.
Wollongong Ukrainian church holds Sunday prayer for MH17 victims (Illawarra Mercury)
Victoria grieves for 18 residents killed in MH17 disaster (The Herald Sun)
CARITAS RELEASE Catholics gather to mourn HIV and AIDS colleagues
Sydney Archdiocese media release Media Release: Message of condolence from the Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Bishop Peter A Comensoli