A memorial service has been held in Addis Ababa in honour of 33 United Nations and non-governmental organizations personnel who lost their lives in last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The fatal crash killed all 157 people on board.
Families, airline staff, government representatives, diplomats and others on Wednesday, 10 April 2019, joined UN and non-governmental organizations personnel as they mourned the loss of their colleagues and also celebrated their selfless work serving Africa and the world.
Bouquets of white, yellow and red roses littered the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) conference centre where the memorial was held exactly a month to the day of the ET302 tragic crash.
Prayers were offered by religious leaders from the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia at the beginning of the service with a minute of silence also observed.
Slender single stems of white and yellow roses were placed by their pictures by friends and family members in attendance.
The most touching moment of the service that saw almost everyone in the memorial service crying was the testimony given by Annabella Tayob, the wife of Mozambican Marcelino Tayob who died in the crash.
“It was dancing that brought us together. Marcelino you were a wonderful dancer and I had a wonderful time to dance with you for 35 years,” the widow of the late senior International Telecommunication Union adviser said.
“Now my dance of sorrow goes to all the other people who lost their loved ones in the plane crash and never had the chance to say goodbye.”
ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, said the 33 (21 UN and 12 NGO) came from 11 UN agencies, 12 NGOs and represented 17 countries.
“They all had one thing in common – a spirit to serve the people of Africa and the world and to make a difference in the lives of the people that we serve. It is truly tragic that anyone should perish doing such good and essential work,” she said.