Parents of children killed on flight MH17 release heartbreaking statement

Jul 23, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Image: 7News

Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris of Australia lost everything when their three children were killed in the MH17 tragedy. Today they released a statement demonstrating unbelievable grace despite what they've lost. We can all learn something from these grieving parents.

An unspeakable loss

Children Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8, perished along with their grandfather, Nick, when flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. Their parents are left in what they describe as a living hell. When I began following the tragedy the day it unfolded, my mind turned immediately to thoughts of revenge. Those responsible should be killed — they should pay for what they did. So many lives were lost from what appears to be a disgusting act of terrorism.

But today, Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris (a Perth couple) remind us that the actions taken against passenger flight MH17 were born of hate. Can we afford to cultivate more hatred?

A statement of love

"We live in a hell beyond hell. Our babies are not here with us — we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives," the parents' statement reads.

"No one deserves what we are going through. Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky."

The parents go on to affirm their love for their family in these beautiful words:

Maslin family |

Photo credit: 7News

"No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other. This is a revelation that gives us some comfort. We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror."

The Maslin family has requested privacy as they process their grief. I hope that in the memory of this beautiful family those of us who were touched by the parents' grace can find ways — every day — to choose love over hatred.

More on grief

Grieving father's simple request touches strangers' hearts
A grieving mom describes life after SIDS
What to tell your kids when a grandparent dies