Wednesday's confirmation that the flaperon found on Reunion Island belonged to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, or MH370, could be the beginning of the end of the search for the missing plane. But in every statement made Wednesday about the debris, officials were certain to mention the victims of the assumed crash.
"It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH 370," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a news conference. "They have our deepest sympathy and prayers. ... We mourn with you, as a nation. And I promise you this: Malaysia will always remember and honor those who were lost on board MH370."
There were 239 people on board MH370 when it disappeared March 8, 2014. Twelve were crew members, 227 were passengers. They were all presumed dead after an exhaustive search of the Indian Ocean turned up nothing.
Their nationalities were as follows, according to the manifest: 152 Chinese, 50 Malaysian, seven Indonesian, six Australian, five Indian, four French and three American. There were two people each from Ukraine, New Zealand, Iran and Canada, and one person each from Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Russia and Taiwan.
The two Iranians, identified as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad and Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, initially caused suspicion because they were traveling with stolen passports. Interpol determined they had no terror connections and had been hoping to seek asylum in Europe.
A group of more than 20 Chinese artists also was on the plane, including calligrapher Liu Rusheng, who had started carrying around a rubber stamp reading "God bless me" after his three heart attacks, the Daily Beast reported. The oldest person aboard was also a calligrapher: Lou Baotang, 79.
The youngest passenger, Wang Moheng, was 23 months old. He was returning from vacation with his parents and grandparents, Express reported. In all, seven of the victims were children.
One of the Americans was IBM executive Philip Wood, whose girlfriend Sarah Bajc supported a $100,000 Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money to reward anyone who helped find the plane. A Malaysian woman, Norli Akmar Hamid, was on her honeymoon. One of the Australians, Mary Burrow, was a retired policewoman -- and soon-to-be grandmother -- on vacation.