19-Year-Old American Boy Among 298 Killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

President Obama has confirmed that "at least" one American was among the 298 killed on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down by a missile in the Ukraine on Thursday. And the fact that the victim was just 19 years old makes this horrific incident really hit home.

Quinn Lucas Schansman has been described by his friends and family as "caring" and "sensitive," as well as the type of friend who was always willing to stick up for someone in need. His grieving family is struggling for answers as to why this happened -- and demanding justice for Quinn and the other victims.

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Quinn was born in New York, had family in New Jersey and Georgia, but held dual U.S and Dutch citizenship and lived most of his young life in the Netherlands. On the day he was killed, he was traveling to Bali to join his father, stepmother, and siblings on a vacation.

Quinn's father worked for the Dutch government both here and in Holland and, according to the teen's Facebook account, he was a student at the University of Amsterdam majoring in international business. He had been dating the same girl since September, played soccer, and seemed to love to travel -- his photos capture the young man living a life of adventure and fun that most teens dream about.

Although it was originally believed that 23 Americans were on board flight MH17, that number has since been revised and it is now known that 189 passengers were from the Netherlands, three infants from Malaysia and Australia were killed, and "dozens" on board were headed to a major international AIDS conference in Australia.

It's impossible to imagine how a parent would cope if his or her teen son suddenly lost his life in such a senseless tragedy. Quinn and the other passengers had so much living left to do and it's so unfair to think he will never experience adulthood or have children of his own. What a sad reminder of how precious life is and how we should hug our children every opportunity we get and -- whether they're 9 or 19 -- constantly remind them of how much they are loved.

Quinn's grandfather Ronald said the family is going through all of the stages of mourning, including anger, and that they demand justice for Quinn and all of the other victims.

What do you think about the details of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy that have been revealed so far?

 

Image via quinnschansman/Instagram

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