The three-hour ceremony attended by Deputy Minister Chrystia Freeland, Premier Doug Ford and Mayor John Tory was held at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall on Sunday morning.
Led by the Tirgan Organization, the presenters spoke through tears as they read out the names and bios of each victim.
“We have lost such incredible people,” said Freeland. “This is this university’s loss, this is Toronto loss, this is Ontario’s loss, this is Canada’s loss. Nothing will ever replace these brilliant lives that have been cut short. We will always have these scars. We will always bear these scars.”
Musical performances and videos played between impassioned speeches delivered by politicians and community members who mourned the victims and asked for justice and answers.
“I know the Iranian community is in pain right now, but I want you to know you are not alone,” said Ford. “The people of this province stand behind you, the nation and the world mourns with you. I know standing shoulder to shoulder with our federal government, we will bring these people to justice. The world will bring these people to justice.”
The 57 Canadians on board the flight resided across the nation. Federal MP Ali Ehsassi spoke to the unification seen across Canada as the enormity of the devastation develop.
“We can never comprehend the pain those families bare, but their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, partners and children should most definitely feel secure in the knowledge that their loved ones impacted all of us. Our heart aches and we are all pained to the core,” said Ehsassi.
Ontario MPP Michael Parsa knew several people on board the flight. He took the podium expressing his inability to understand the tragedy and the “deeply disturbing” volume of innocent lives taken.
“I’m grieving for the loss of my friends and I’m upset over the circumstances under which their lives were taken,” said Parsa.
“As you seek justice, answers and closure during this incredibly difficult time know that I stand with you as you grieve. Know that your fellow Canadians share you pain and sorrow. We will get through this together and we will emerge stronger,” he said.
On Saturday, the Iranian government blamed human error as the cause of the missile strike. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded a full investigation and compensation from Iran for the victims families.