Ontario, Canada: Like every year, this year too Canada remembered the victims of the largest terrorism incident in Canadian history. The bomb took the life of 1985 people along with 86 children.
The families hold services every year not only to remember their loved ones lost, but also to remind Canadians that they must remain vigilant against the threat and harms of terrorism.
June 23 has also been designated by the Canadian government as the National Day of Remembrance to all Victims of Terrorism.
There is a widespread feeling among Canadians, particularly South Asian Canadians that Canadian Governments’ action against this terrorism could have been different if the victims were white Canadians.
A prominent Canadian Hindu organization, The Hindu Forum Canada has urged Premier Ontario to direct District School Boards across Ontario to include a chapter on Air India bombing in curriculum across schools in Ontario so that the generations of Canadians to come to remember what happened, how it happened and that the Air India bombing is ‘Not forgotten, Not foreign, But ours.’
“Situating the Air India tragedy and its aftermath within local, national and transnational contexts, it is imperative to raise widespread awareness of the tragedy and its continuing impact on our shared present and future. There is a need to educate the wider public, especially the students of Ontario about the Air India tragedy and its aftermath,” the forum said.
The wife and daughter of a victim expressed grief on the occasion, “My father was on a flight that was 36 years ago. We come here every year and gather here as a family and do a memorial service. Because of COVID-19, we couldn’t do the service last year but we have come today.”
A friend of a victim, Michael Darcey echoed the same sentiments on 36th Anniversary Day. “36 years ago a friend of mine was at Air India flight. She has gone for 36 years but she is not forgotten and neither is her sister or her father. We miss them dearly and we can’t forget that this was an act of terrorism against Canadians.”
Darcey also laid emphasis on the need to remember the incident and added that “a lot of people don’t think it was against the Canadians because they were South Asians but they were Canadians and there were non-Canadians on board and they matter just as much.”