Air India bombing and terrorism victims honoured on day of remembrance in Brampton


Published June 24, 2024 at 3:29 pm

air india bombing brampton anniversary

Brampton paid tribute to the more than 300 victims killed in the country’s worst attack and all Canadians killed in terrorism incidents around the world.

Flags at Brampton City Hall were flying at half-mast on Sunday to mark National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, held every year in honour of those killed through acts of terror.

The date is observed on the anniversary of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 that killed 329 innocent people including 280 Canadians. The plane left Toronto on July 23, 1985 and stopped in Montreal with a final destination of London, U.K., and exploded off the coast of Ireland.

A second bomb killed two baggage workers at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Two B.C. men were arrested and charged with 331 counts of first-degree murder but later acquitted when a judge ruled key witnesses weren’t reliable. One of the accused was shot to death in B.C. in 2022.

“We honour the memory of the victims,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said in a statement. “As we mark National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, we are reminded of the importance of standing united against hatred, terror and extremism.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also paid tribute to the victims and their families, saying Canada is “united against hate, intolerance, and division.”

“We reaffirm Canada’s determination to fight against violent extremism and keep our people safe,” the prime minister said in a statement.

It took decades for the federal government to formally address the attack and apologize to the victims’ families, which Canada largely treated as a foreign incident despite the flights and alleged bombers coming from Canada.

In 2010, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper marked the 25th anniversary of the bombing with an apology after a report found a “cascading series of errors” by the government, the Mounties and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for failing to stop the attack.

“Today, we remember and honour every Canadian whose life was cut short or forever changed by a terrorist attack,” Trudeau said on Sunday before addressing the Air India bombing, which he called “the deadliest terrorist attack in Canadian history.”

“It reminds us of the senseless violence that terrorism perpetuates and of our shared responsibility to unequivocally condemn terrorism,” he said.

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