WINDSOR, ONT. -- In memory of the five local victims of Ukrainian flight PS752, commemorative trees and benches have been added to Windsor’s riverfront.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and University of Windsor president Dr. Robert Gordon and local members of the Iranian community honour the lost family, friends and colleagues Thursday with the new memorial. 

“These memorial installations will forever remind us of the five beloved members of our small community who perished on Ukrainian flight PS-752. Their deaths have left a deep and everlasting wound in the Iranian/Windsor community,” said Ali Ghanadian, Iranian community representative. “They were graduate students, researchers and engineers who made significant contributions to society. All of them came here with the hope of building their future and be part of this beautiful city, therefore we aspire to carry on their goals in their stead. Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories."

The five local victims were among 176 people who were killed when the Ukraine International Airlines plane they were on was shot down during lift-off from Tehran on Jan. 8, 2020.

“The students and friends we lost to the Tehran air tragedy will never be forgotten by their University of Windsor family,” said Gordon. “This memorial installation will serve as a tangible reminder of the lives they lived, their great impact on our community, and the unlimited potential that was lost to the world on that day in January.”

The city says the names of doctoral student of civil engineering Pedram Jadidi; biology research assistant Samira Bashiri and her spouse Hamidreza Setareh Kokab, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering; and civil engineering doctoral student Zahra Naghibi and her spouse Mohammad Abbaspour Ghadi will not be forgotten.

“These installations will serve as a permanent reminder of the lives tragically cut short. These were brilliant academics, friends and colleagues and internationally-born citizens who made Windsor their home,” said Dilkens. “I’m pleased that the City was able to partner with the University to prepare this dignified and lasting tribute to the individuals and community impacted by these tragic events.”

Two trees, three park benches, plaques bearing the names of those lost and a note on the tragic event have been installed as part of the memorial.