MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man lost a brother and sister-in-law in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy.
Arjen and Yvonne Ryder were making their trip back home to Australia, after a trip to the Netherlands and France.
Arjen’s brother, Drew, lives in Willmar, Minn.
“My uncle called, said I have some terrible news,” Drew said. “Your brother and sister-in-law were on the plane that just crashed.”
Ryder was at work when he got the news from his uncle, who dropped the couple off at the airport in Amsterdam.
“It’s one of those things where you see tragedies around the world and you don’t think it’s going to hit home and that’s what’s happened,” Drew said.
Drew says Arjen and Yvonne were a positive couple who lived every day to the fullest. He was a top agriculture expert in his country. She was a teacher.
“They really lived their life to the fullest, lived their life in a way that was a model that others could follow,” Drew said. “That’s what I’m hoping I can do in my life and I think the rest of our family feels the same way.”
Drew says he is ready to forgive whoever brought down the plane, crediting his faith for moving forward. He’s also borrowing some of his older brother’s positivity.
“It’s very difficult to lose a loved one, I’m not kidding you in saying that we’re hurting a lot,” he said. “But we also feel very comforted thinking they are in a better place.”