US, Russian officials honor memory of 2016 Tu-154 plane crash victims

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© Igor Borisenko/TASS

BAYONNE /New Jersey/, January 3. /TASS/. A solemn ceremony in memory of the victims of the Tu-154 plane crash on December 25, 2016, took place on Thursday morning near the Tear Drop memorial sculpture in the US city of Bayonne (New Jersey). Members of the Schiller Institute, police officers and firefighters of the cities of New York and Bayonne, Russian diplomats from Russia’s permanent mission to the UN, as well as a representative of the Syrian permanent mission to the UN were present at the ceremony, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.

The Tu-154 plane crashed in the early morning hours of December 25, 2016, shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi. There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including 8 crew members and 84 passengers, none of them survived.

Among those on the fatal flight were military servicemen and nine reporters from Russia’s Channel One, Zvezda and NTV networks. The plane was also carrying more than 60 members of the world-renowned Alexandrov Ensemble, an official choir of the Russian Armed Forces. The ensemble was on its way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Khmeimim air base in Syria.

The choir of the Schiller Institute performed the Russian and the US national anthems, while a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church held a memorial service in honor of the victims.

Deputy Permanent Representative Russia to the UN Dmitry Chumakov stated that the ceremony proves that members of the US public share the sorrow with the Russians concerning the Tu-154 tragedy. A representative of Syria’s mission to the UN thanked everyone who participated in the memorial ceremony.

The Tear Drop Memorial, also known as To the Struggle Against World Terrorism, is a 10-story monument by Georgian-Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli given to the US as an official gift of the Russian government as a memorial to the victims of the September 2001 terrorist attack.

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