Luna's parents lay murdered toddler to rest

17th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The parents of the murdered Luna laid to rest their two-year-old daughter on Wednesday, less than a week after she died in the Antwerp racist shooting.

17 May 2006

BRUSSELS — The parents of the murdered Luna laid to rest their two-year-old daughter on Wednesday, less than a week after she died in the Antwerp racist shooting.

It was an austere and intimate service as the family requested. The small white coffin was carried into the saint Paulus Church in Antwerp shortly after 10am to the sounds of simple organ music.

"Inconsolable, bewildered, stunned speechless. We are here together with many, united above every contrasting skin colour and race, rank and file, faith or liberal [belief],' Pastor Paul Scheelen said.

He said further mourners were "shocked by the senseless violence that washes over our society these days".

The service was also attended by many friends and family members of Oulemalou Niangadou, the murdered nanny of Luna, who considered the au-pair to be her big sister. 

Family of friends of the Turkish woman injured in the shooting, Songul Koç, also attended the service.
 
Luna's grandmother referred to the alleged racist motives behind the murder during a short speech, remembering the words from 30 years ago of a Jewish neighbour who lost almost all of her family in the Holocaust: "If people have seen so much hate from so close up, people will understand that a whole lot of love is necessary to restore the balance."

Actor Jan Decleir also expressed his disbelief at the murder: "It is not right if a bent, old man with a white beard strikes up an ode over a coffin in which there is a delicate, two-year-old eternal sleeping child with a teddy bear".

He also sang softly, "Luna, Luna, the light-giving girl".

Luna's favourite songs 'Spider’s web' and 'I cried for you' by Katie Melua were also played during the service.

Official city poet Bart Moeyaert recited a poem he wrote in response to the shooting.

Children from the class of Luna's brother then placed flowers on the coffin and read a poem aloud. "Luna, you didn't deserve this and no one is served by this. But we are never going to forget you."

An inspiring moment came at the end of the service when Pastor Scheelen asked all those in attendance to hold each other tight as a symbol of their deep bond against so much violence.

The small coffin was then taken outside the church at about 11.20am, after which it was taken to the cemetery.

As they left the church, all mourners were given a small prayer booklet that was as austere as the service itself. On the front was a photo of Luna and on the back the words: 'Tot Later' (See you later) and the Malian translation: 'Kanbé'.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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