Local Iranians gather in downtown Raleigh honoring Ukrainian plane victims killed

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Local Iranians living in the Triangle cried and sang in front of the Wake County Courthouse in remembrance of the lives lost when Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.

Among those lives lost was Bahareh Karami, an NC State graduate who was visiting family in Iran.

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An NC State graduate was among the 176 passengers and crew killed on Wednesday, Jan. 8 when Iran claimed it accidentally shot down a Ukranian jetliner in Tehran.

On Saturday, Iranian officials claimed they accidentally shot down the jetliner believing it to be hostile, further highlighting the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

"I just can't imagine how their families are dealing with this loss. If it makes me this sad. How are their families feeling?" said Nazi Ahmadi Kite, an Iranian-American.

Along the steps of the courthouse, candles lit up the photos of the passengers that were on the plane.

"As an Iranian-American member of this community like all the other community members, we felt very sad for the life that we lost in this tragedy," said Kite. "We wanted to get together here and remember them and share our feelings."

Many people at the vigil knew Karami and described her as a happy, active person.

Those who recalled the 33-year-old remember her volunteering at Raleigh's Annual International Festival helping kids learn about Iran.

As tensions continue to toughen between the US and Iran, the candlelight vigil hopes to support those who were affected by Wednesday's tragedy.
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