October 19, 2014 8:02 pm
Updated: October 20, 2014 5:09 pm

Flight MH17: Parents of three children killed say life is ‘ongoing hell’

Parents of MH17 crash victims Evie, Mo and Otis Maslin, Marite Norris is comforted by Anthony Maslin after releasing balloons before an AFL match on July 31, 2014 in Perth, Australia.

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Australian parents of three children killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 released an emotional statement Sunday describing how it felt to have their bodies returned home and called for an end to the “pointless war” in eastern Ukraine.

“For the last three months, they have been lying in a cold room on the other side of the world,” said Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris in a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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“Reconciling this fact with the knowledge that our children are here with us, spiritually, every moment is one of the most relentless and agonising difficulties of our current life.”

The bodies of Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8, were returned to Australia on Thursday, along with their grandfather Nick Norris.

The children and their grandfather were flying home for the start of a new school year following a family vacation in the Netherlands. Anthony and Marite Norris had stayed behind after extending their vacation by only a few days.

READ MORE: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Shooting down ‘most likely’ scenario

“We have been two of the luckiest and happiest people on the planet. What remains for us now is to honour our children,” said the parents. “Our lives are an ongoing hell. The pain we are enduring is unfathomable, and we grieve alongside families in the Ukraine, the Netherlands, Russia, Malaysia, Australia and elsewhere.”

The three children were among the 38 Australians and 298 other passengers and crew who were killed when their Boeing 777 was shot-down July 17, presumably by Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

“Please respect our children’s memory, and stop this pointless war.

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.”

An initial report by a Dutch-led investigation published in September said the damage to the plane was caused by “a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” The report also found “no indications that the MH17 crash was caused by a technical fault or by actions of the crew.”

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