Calgarians gathered at City Hall Sunday to pay tribute to those who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash a week ago.
On March 10, a Boeing 737 Max 8, destined for Nairobi, crashed shortly after takeoff, killing 157 people. Two of the victims had connections to Calgary.
Gladys Kivia spoke at the candlelight vigil about her husband, Derick Lwugi, who was killed in the crash.
“He was a loving husband and a dad. A loving dad to our three children,” Kivia said to the crowd.”We’ll truly miss you. Derick has been my best friend for over 22 years. We got married. He is my soulmate. My inspiration. My rock,” she said.
Lwugi, 54, was an accountant for the city and founder of the Kenyan Community in Calgary group.
His daughter, Melody Kivia, said holding the vigil at City Hall brought back fond memories of him. She said before he left he told his three children to support each other.”I think that’s what we’re leaning on right now, just making sure. Like we just check on each other constantly,” she said.
Kivia said she wasn’t surprised by how many people attended the vigil.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less. I guess, knowing my dad and knowing the kind of impact he made. I mean it’s really nice to know that this many people felt touched by him,” she said.
Leila Ali Henry, the aunt of the flight’s captain, was also at the vigil. Her nephew, Yared Getecho was 28.”We were so proud of him to have made captain. And to lose him in this way was so tragic for us. It has left a really big dent in our family. He was a soft-spoken, humble and just a beautiful person,” Henry said.
Stephen Amadala, chairperson of the steering committee to support the Lwugi family said there has been an outpouring of support from the community since the crash.
“We’ll be there for them for many, many, many months and years to come.” he said.