Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soap Box - MH17, 7/17/97 - 7/17/14.

Federation Square, 7/24/14. The flags at half mast correspond to the nationalities of the passengers who perished in the plane crash.
While this blog is not the centre of very sad news, we are all too soon touched by the news of the downing of flight MH17, and the many related issues connected to the flight. As of the date of this photo (taken from the 16th floor of a building miles from Federation Square, Melbourne), people are fixated on the many news and issues, tempers and tears shared in the midst of the crash. As observed, many countries and organisations have lowered their flags at half mast out of tribute to the many people killed in the flight, and memorial services for the victims were held.

With regards to Wonders of Life Eterna, and its focus on the incident, the news of the 298 passengers killed were due to attend the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne (current reporting city for Wonders of Life Eterna) is not just a tragic blow to the health community, but also the whole world. Add to the 1.6 million people who have died from AIDS-related complications in 2012 to date (UNAID, 2014) and we now know how important a health issue has become escalated for the following reasons

  • To quell the HIV epidemic through education - safe sexual practices is one area of focus.
  • To improve recovery and resilience in the lives of those living with AIDS
  • To build and deliver awareness of medical innovations against HIV and AIDS
  • To pay tribute to those who have died of AIDS, year by year.

All eyes are now on Melbourne as the conference is running underway, discussing solutions and tackling issues of the disease and loosening its grip on society. With regards to Epcot Center, had the Wonders of Life pavilion been operational, nurtured and updated (instead of left to ruin in New Years' 2007) to see the event, it would have closed out of respect, and remained closed until mourning day. As blogmaster, I remember the last time Epcot had responded in tribute to a recent traumatic event, where cast members of the Norway pavilion in World Showcase have presented a temporary shrine in tribute to those killed in the Oslo bombing and Utoya shootings on July 22nd 2011.

Documented by a CM from the Norway Pavilion; image found on an archived website (

I can imagine a small shrine in memory of those the passengers who perished on the flight - families, young couples, students, businessmen, friends, doctors and important leaders - starting their holidays or going home from them, going to work or attending wonderful events - the six delegates and activists destined in the AIDS 2014 conference, many internationally known, would have been honoured.

So on behalf of Wonders of Life Eterna, breaking the writer's block in the midst of a saddening current event, we deliver condolences and support to grieving families and populations of the horrific crash; we also hold a minutes silence to remember those who have died of AIDS - famous and civilian - as we gain resilience to not only combat the disease through education and innovation, but in tribute to the six who were lost too soon.

Signed, the blogmaster, due to update soon.



UNAID, 2014. Fact sheet. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 July 2014].

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