One year ago, the Iranian military shot down a passenger plane shortly after takeoff from Tehran's international airport.
There were no survivors among the 176 people onboard, including 55 Canadian citizens and dozens more on their way to this country.
“I know it’s one year passed but every day for us it’s new. Never forget,” said Shahnaz Oleh, who lost her close friend Ayeshe Pourghaderi on the fatal flight.
Pourghaderi’s 17-year-old daughter, Fatemah Pasavand, a North Vancouver high school student, also perished when Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 went down.
Oleh has since taken over the family’s business, Amir Bakery, and says she’s been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support on the anniversary of the of the tragic flight.
“Many, many people came here and they put some flowers,” she said. “Today we had some pictures, some candles and many people came.”
The anniversary of the crash has brought the Lower Mainland’s tight knit Iranian-Canadian community together in mourning.
The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation made donations to both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia in support of memorial scholarships in remembrance of the victims of Flight 752.
SFU announced the foundation’s gift was $30,000.
“This is, I think, the least we can do. Something for all these victims. And I wish and I hope that other members of society, anybody, gets the motivation to help,” said Hamid Eshghi, on behalf of the foundation.
Families of the victims and the Canadian government have called on Iran to provide more detailed and thorough accounts about how and why the passenger jet was accidentally targeted by a pair of missiles fired by the Revolutionary Guard.
Tensions were high in the region after a U.S. drone strike five days earlier killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad’s international airport.
Iran initially denied shooting down Flight 752 but as evidence mounted, the country admitted it had been targeted after being mistaken for an incoming missile.