More should be done to remember the victims of Air India bombing


Victims of Air Indian bombing were remembered on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Flags at various federal, provincial and municipal governments offices across Canada were flown at half-mast.
The 38th annual memorial for the 331 victims including 82 children of the terrorist bombings of the Air India flight from Canada was held on Friday, June 23, 2023 at 6:30 p.m., at the Air India Memorial in Stanley Park’s Ceperley Playground. The annual memorials of this tragedy are organized by family members of the victims.
“This memorial not only remembers the 329 victims including 82 children of this terrible terrorist bombing, but all their family members and 2 baggage handlers in Narita, Japan who died almost at the same time as a second terrorist bomb bound for another Air India flight exploded prematurely,” said former Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave S. Hayer.
“These horrendous acts live on in the memories of all family members of the victims and these annual memorial ceremonies continue to remind us all, that terrorism has no place in a civilized world and that it must be stamped out at all costs,” Hayer said.
During Hayer’s 12 years from 2001 – 2013 as an MLA, he spoke often in the BC Legislature about the Air India bombing disaster, strengthening the rights of victims and against terrorism.
Mr. Major Sidhu’s sister, nephew and niece were killed on Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985.
The Air India Memorial in Ceperley Park was unveiled in 2007 to commemorate the worst aviation tragedies in Canadian history, and to stand as a monument against terrorism.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement said, “Thirty-eight years ago today, en route from Canada to the United Kingdom, a bomb exploded on Air India Flight 182 – a terrorist attack that shook our country to its core. This hateful act – the deadliest terrorist attack in Canadian history – killed all 329 people on board, including 280 Canadians, and forever altered the lives of their families and loved ones who continue to live with the pain of their absence every day.
“Terrorism seeks to instill fear, division, and hatred within our communities. We can never allow the actions of a few to overshadow the values of peace, tolerance, and diversity that define our society and unite us as Canadians.
“Today offers an opportunity to reflect on how we can continue to defend peace and security and promote human rights here at home and around the world. It is also an opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the first responders, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, members of law enforcement agencies, and the countless others who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” he said.
As some Canadians reflect on the 38th anniversary of Canada’s worst terrorist tragedy, the sense among many is that more should be done to remember the victims. A new Angus Reid Institute study finds that nine-in-ten Canadians say they have little (61%) or no (28%) knowledge of the worst single instance of the mass killing of their fellow citizens, with three-in-five (58%) of those younger than 35 saying they have never even heard of it. In British Columbia, where the conspiracy to commit the bombings was hatched, and Ontario, where many of the victims lived, awareness is higher, but fewer than one-in-six in each province say they know a lot about the attack.
Among those who are most aware, more than two-in-five (42%) say that Canada has not done enough. This is perhaps reflected in the low levels of awareness among the population.