Fayetteville woman with family in Ukraine worries for their safety after jetliner crash

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – The Ukraine jetliner crash that killed 176 people on board isn’t the first tragedy leaving Lida Buniak worried about her family overseas.

She said she finds herself praying for peace and her country often.

“I do spend a lot of time praying and hoping that it’ll get better,” said Lida Buniak, President of the Syracuse Ukranian Congress Committee of America.

On Thursday, the United States reported its confidence that the Ukranian jetliner was shot down by an Iranian missile, a result of Iran’s attack on U.S. military bases.

“It’s a human tragedy and it’s heartbreaking to me that these things are happening,” explained Buniak.

This was an added weight when she first found out of the airplane crash.

“It just felt very surreal to hear that this happened. It’s sort of the feelings we had back in 2014 when the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down over Eastern Ukraine,” said Buniak.

Buniak was born and raised in the United States, but she and her husband still have family and friends in Ukraine, including her mom.

“It’s sort of like you go into a crisis mode because you want to understand what’s happening and you want to wrap your head around it and figure out why,” she said.

She joins many who ask that same question, “Why?” However, Buniak is still hopeful for Ukraine and the rest of the world.

“For me, I have to keep praying to hope that we can all still come together as human beings and see the good in each other,” said Buniak.

There will be a Ukranian Memorial Service on Saturday, January 9 at the St. John Baptist Ukranian Church in Syracuse beginning at 9:30 a.m.

For more local news, follow Adrienne Smith on Twitter @AdrienneSmithTV

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