MH17 crash: Why did these children have to die?

An empty nest: Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin were going home to Perth to give their parents some time alone. The parents will never see them again.

PETALING JAYA - It's senseless! Eighty-three children murdered in cold blood.

They had dreams - they were going home for Raya, to meet their grandparents, for a tropical holiday. For many, it was their first trip on a plane - and their last.

Those who killed them, and denying them the basic human decency of a proper funeral, must not go unpunished.

Australians Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, aged 12, 10 and eight respectively, were on MH17 with their grandfather Nick Norris, going home to Perth after a holiday in Europe.

Norris took his grandchildren away on the holiday so that their parents could spend some time alone together.

Anthony and Rin, the trio's parents, released balloons earlier this week in memory of their children, along with Mo's football team.

Australians Piers, Marnix and Margaux van den Hende (aged 15, 12 and eight respectively) were headed back to Melbourne with father Hans van den Hende and mother Shaliza Dewa after spending time with their grandparents in the Netherlands.

Dutch siblings Brett (17), Jinte (15), Amel (13) and Solenn Wals (nine), were on their way to a summer vacation in Kuala Lumpur with their parents Jeroen Wals and Nicole Martens.

Jinte had tweeted "Thursday, finally to Malaysia!" earlier in the week, excited over her tropical holiday. She never crossed Europe.

Chris Allen, 16, and his brothers Julian and Ian, aged 14 and eight respectively, and their father John Allen, 43, were on their way to Indonesia for a family holiday. The boys were avid football players.

Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five, and his sister Sri, three, were also on their way to Indonesia with their parents John and Yuli to visit a grandparent's grave.

Britons Jasper (15) and Friso (12) Hoare were with their parents Andrew and Estella, heading for trip to the lush rainforests of Borneo.

And from the Borneo island, there were Mohd Afif, 19, Mohd Afzal, 17, Marsha Azmeena, 15, and Mohd Afruz, 13, all children of Shell employee Tambi Jiee, 49, and his wife Ariza Ghazalee, 47. The family was heading home after Tambi's three-year working tour in Kazakhstan.

Afruz was a thoughtful boy who loved his friends, football and Manchester United.

In early July, Afruz posted a farewell on Facebook.

"Goodbye Atyrau, Kazakhstan. Goodbye friends, nice knowing you guys. Jan 4 2012 - July 4 2014 has been the greatest years of my life. Hope I'll see you guys in the future. BYE.

"Goodbye cats, hope you'll get a new kind owner ... please don't die."

He didn't know then that those words would haunt his friends.

A friend commented after the plane was shot down: "Don't leave us, we have lots of stuff we didn't do."

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