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Iran's Cineastes to commemorate Flight 655 victims in Bandar Abbas

TEHRAN, June 30 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian cinematic figures are to gather in Bandar Abbas on Wednesday to commemorate the passengers killed in the Iran Air Flight 655 which was shot down by U.S. Vincennes in 1988.

Remembering IR-655: Shot down over Persian Gulf

In a press conference held here on Sunday, actor Parviz Parastuii said, "We all remember the great catastrophe which resulted in the loss of 290 lives of innocent civilians including 66 children. But unfortunately we have not observed any special programs in their memory in the past 20 years."

He added, "Nowhere in the world a civilian airliner is shot during the war. Of course, it was later announced that the plane was shot by mistake, the men of the Vincennes were all awarded and Commander Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator won the navy's Commendation Medal for 'heroic achievement'. 'The Legion of Merit' was also presented to captain William Rogers."

Parastuii later expressed his regret over the fact that the incident is being gradually forgotten, "We as Iranian citizens must take action and do something. I think we artists must help inform the American nation of this bitter incident."

He also noted that Reza Mirkarimi, the current managing director of the House of Cinema has carried out many programs during his management and the memorial ceremony is also organized by him.

"The ceremony will begin on Wednesday July 2 at 10:30 and 66 children will carry pigeons in memory of the children who were onboard and the artists will pay their tribute and make short speeches," he continued.

"On Thursday morning July 3, a ceremony will be performed by an American anti-war group in a church in Richmond, Virginia. The program will be aired live on Iran's press TV channel and the statement by the House of Cinema will also be recited at the ceremony," he added.

Parastuii remarked that cineastes Ali Nasirian, Maziar Miri, Minu Farshchi, Sirus Alvand, Roya Teimurian, Mahtab Karamati, and Puran Derakhshandeh are amongst the artists participating in the ceremony.

Two directors are also planning to make movies about the event, he said, concluding that the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), Valfajr Shipping, Hormozgan Governor's Office, and Bandar Abbas Municipality are cooperating with the House of Cinema in this program.

... Payvand News - 06/30/08 ... --

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