The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 3rd


Lanterns in the Sky for Lost Lives

By Wei Zhou

Staff Writer

UNC Chinese Culture Club held an event in front of Rams Head Dining Hall where sky lanterns were released to commemorate the lives that were lost in the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Students wrote their prayers for the lost passengers on the lanterns. About 30 attended the and many students who passed by also left their messages for the lost lives.

The flight first departed from Kuala Lumpur Airport in Selangor, Malaysia March 8, where Malaysia Airlines says the plane lost contact less than an hour after takeoff. After more than two weeks of searching, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said the plane had been lost in the southern Indian Ocean. 

According to the report, there were 227 Airlines Flight MH 370 Passenger Manifest.pdf passengers on the flight, of which 153 were Chinese and 38 Malaysian Seven were children. 

UNC freshman Yaner Weidir planned the event and said she wanted to help people get over the feeling of loss and sorrow by uniting the student body. 

“I really want to do something for those people on board,” she said.

She said she was shocked when she first heard of incident and wanted to help those families that lost their loved ones. After discussing with her friends, she thought flying the sky lanterns — a Chinese tradition — would be meaningful to commemorate those lost lives.

Junior Jia Zhengdir said this event provides a way for students to express their feelings for the lost lives.

“It’s a way to get people’s attention and unite people together,” she said. “We could express our sadness, sorrow and compassion for the lost lives in the incident”

Jessica Porter, a student who was nearby when the event was taking place,dir said the incident is relevant to UNC students  because even though they may not know anybody from the plane, she said they need to realize such an incident could happen to anyone.

Porter said she thinks the sky lanterns relate to the lost plane in the way that they both are connected to the sky.

“It’s a way of expressing your understanding and grief in a kind of artistic and meaningful way,” she said. “We are putting things in the sky and the incident occurred in the sky.”

Freshman Zihan Zhengdir said the feeling of loss should be an experience shared by everyone in the University community and he wrote on his lantern: I hope such horrendous loss will be the last; that no more families will have to feel the same, and that pain may soon cease.

“Let us learn, commemorate, and advance,” he said.

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