Vigils held across Canada to honour victims of Iran plane crash

There were silent vigils across the country on Wednesday – including at a number of schools in Halifax – for the victims of the Iranian plane crash last week.

Connections to the disaster run deep and are painfully personal for many in the city.

At the Nova Scotia Community College's Institute of Technology, Hedieh Tehrani and Mahsa Majidi took a silent moment to remember their friend Masoumeh Ghavi, one of the 176 people killed in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

"She was wonderful, she was so kind, she was friendly, so social," said Majidi. "She got here in September, but after a couple of weeks everybody knew her."

The opportunity to remember quietly, and in public, helped to bring comfort.

"I felt peace in my heart and it felt really great," Majidi said. "I actually thought it's necessary and I felt like I needed to just take a silent moment to respect any hopes they had, because they can't really follow them anymore."

Dalhousie, Saint Mary's, and Mount St. Vincent universities held their own vigils Wednesday.

The silent moment was repeated throughout Canada, including in Toronto and in Edmonton.

"I am very appreciative of NSCC and all governments in Canada and all universities," said Tehrani. "I am very appreciative of all the support they had."

While the mourning will continue, a local fundraising effort is beginning to help create a scholarship to remember the people who were lost.

"All we're trying to do is help other international students, Iranian international students, and also keep the people's names of the people we lost alive," said Majidi.

The final details of that fundraiser are expected by the end of the week.