(Persia Digest) - Families of 290 victims gathered on the scene of the tragedy in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday showering the area with flowers to remember their loved ones.
IRNA reports that Iranians marked the 31st anniversary of the terrible tragedy and paid tribute to the 290 victims of the passenger plane that was shot down by the US warship, USS Vincennes over Iran's territorial waters on the usual air corridor on July 3, 1988.
The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed by two surface-to-air missiles fired from the Vincennes killing all 290 passengers on board, including 66 children under thirteen, 53 women and all the 16 crew members. The plane had 46 foreign nationals on board from six countries.
The black box of the aircraft was never found.
The ceremony began with the national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and then the mourners, the families of the victims and the officials scattered bunches and garlands of flowers into Hormuz Strait, the Persian Gulf, at the spot where the airliner was shot down with two US missiles.
After the ceremony, the participants cried out "Death to the US" and "Death to Israel" to condemn the war crimes of the US.
The Governor of Hormuzgan province Sardar Mirzaee, and Amir-Hossein Qazizadeh-Hashemi, a member of presiding board of Majlis (Iranian Parliament), and some local officials also attended the ceremony.
Iran Air Flight 655 to Dubai, as a part of the a twice-weekly route flown by the airline for over 20 years, was shot down shortly after it took off from Bandar Abbas by the United States Navy over the Persian Gulf.
After the tragic incident, the captain of the US Vincennes Captain, Will Rogers III, was eulogized and awarded; this proved that the US navy's attack at Iranian passenger plane has been a pre-meditated crime.
Every year, helicopters shower with flowers the site where the bodies of the victims had scattered.