Parents of the three Australian children who were aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with their grandfather when it went down over east Ukraine last week have broken their silence.
In a heartbreaking statement, Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris have described the pain of losing their three children Mo, Evie and Otis, and Marite’s father Nick, as ‘intense and relentless.’
Evie, Mo, and Otis Maslin were on board flight MH17 with their grandfather Nick when it was shot down over Ukraine last week
The devastated parents maintain that no one should experience the sheer agony that they are experiencing, ‘Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.’
Anthony and Marite thanked their family and friends who had surrounded them with love since the tragedy, and reminded people that the love for their family is stronger than any hate in the world.
The statement can be read in full below.
A message to the soldiers in the Ukraine, the politicians, the media, our friends and family.
Our pain is intense and relentless. 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.
No one deserves what we are going through.
Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.
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.
So far, every moment since we arrived home, we’ve been surrounded by family and friends. We desperately pray that this continues, because this expression of love is what is keeping us alive. We want to continue to know about your lives, all the good and all the bad. We no longer have lives that we want to live by ourselves. So we’d like to take the chance to thank everyone, all our incredible friends, family and communities, and to tell you all that we love you very much.
We would also like to thank the people at DFAT; the local coordinator Claire and most sincerely, Diana and Adrian from The Hague, without whom we would not be here. We ask the media to respect the privacy of our family and friends – pain is not a story.
Anthony Maslin & Marite Norris.
Earlier this week, it was announced the children’s father had taken indefinite leave from his job as head of Buxton Resources.
A brief statement from the Perth-based mining company on Monday said Anthony Maslin was taking personal leave from his job as managing director.
Mr Maslin and his wife Rin returned to Perth at the weekend from Amsterdam, where they had farewelled their three children on the ill-fated flight last Thursday.
The children, Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, eight, boarded MH17 with their grandfather Nick Norris so they could return to Australia from their European holiday in time to start school this week.
Mr Maslin and Ms Norris had planned to stay on in Amsterdam for a few more days after their children left. The family was meant to be reunited on Monday.
Ms Norris’s father, Nick Norris, was a government consultant who formally worked as a school principal.
Evie, Otis, and Mo Maslin (pictured left to right with their father, Anthony) were victims of the MH17 crash. Their father will take indefinite leave from his role as head of mining company Buxton Resources to deal with the tragedy
Nick Norris (bottom left) was traveling with his grandchildren Otis, Mo and Evie Maslin (left to right) were on board MH17 when it crashed.
The Maslin children’s devastated parents flew home on Saturday and attended a public tribute for their children at Mo’s junior football club on Sunday.
The Scarborough Sea Eagles Year 7 team played without Mo Maslin, their star forward pocket who had planned on being there for his first game back from his European holiday.
Club President Steve Cross said the whole family would attend Mo’s games together and were ‘very popular’ in the community.
‘Being a parent, it really hits home to you. Things in life don’t seem so bad when you see things like this,’ Mr Cross told the Courier Mail.
‘My heart goes out to Maz (Anthony) and Rin, how do they cope from now on?’ Coach Troy Ramshaw told the publication.
A tribute to the Maslin children, held after a footy game was played by Mo’s club team on Sunday
12-year-old Mo Maslin’s football team hold a minute’s silence for their late friend, who was onboard the fateful MH17 flight with his younger sister, Evie, brother Otis and grandfather Nick Norris
12-year-old Mo had played for the football club for three years. His teammates held a minute’s silence to remember their friend.
Green, yellow and black balloons – football club’s team colours – were released into the air as part of a tribute to the three cherished children and their beloved grandfather.
The three children and their grandfather were among 298 people who died when MH14 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Mr Norris is survived by his wife Lindy, their four adult children and surviving grandchildren.
Anthony Maslin, the father of MH17 victims Mo, Otis, and Evie, will take indefinite leave after the devastating loss of his children and their grandfather, Nick Norris