British Columbia

Air India bombing victims remembered in Stanley Park

Air India Flight 182 was blown apart by the bombs planted by a group of B.C. Sikh separatists

Families and friends still mourn for victims of bombing 30 years ago

Harjit Sajjan points to the name of his friend's father. (CBC)

Friends and families went to a memorial held for victims of the Air India Flight 182 bombing in Vancouver's Stanley Park on Tuesday night.

The attack, which was planned by a group of B.C. Sikh separatists, killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland 30 years ago.

Naveen Girn, the organizer of the Vancouver memorial, said the tragedy is still fresh in people's minds and that it's important to remember the victims.

"This is the largest terrorist act ever committed against Canadians," Girn said. "Remembering it as something that affects all of us is important."

Milan Singh read the names of all the lives lost on the flight. Those names are also on the memorial in Ceperley Park.

Harjit Sajjan brought his two young children to see the name of his friend's dad, the captain of Air India, on the memorial.

Honouring the victims

A small group of B.C. Sikh separatists plotted to bomb two Air India planes in their campaign against the Indian government.

The memorial in Stanley Park names all of the people who lost their lives in the Air India bombing. (CBC)

Two suitcase bombs were checked in at Vancouver airport on flights connecting to Air India planes. One of the flights blew up off the coast of Ireland on June 22, 1985, and the second suitcase exploded at Tokyo's Narita Airport, killing two baggage handlers.

The passage of three decades hasn't lessened the resonance of the tragedy.

Saffrin Granby and Chris Slatter were among those not even alive at the time who attended Tuesday to honour the victims.

A lengthy trial ended in 2005 with the acquittals of two suspects and a public inquiry into the investigation.

That lack of closure for victims also prevents the terrorist attack from being seen as an event from a bygone era.

"It's still a very real and recent incident," said Girn.

-With files from Jeff Harrington and Pierre Martineau


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