S aturday afternoon just after two o'clock solemn remembrances will take place simultaneously in Syracuse, Washington, London and Lockerbie. Bells will toll, prayers will be said and names will be read 25 years to the moment that a plastic explosive in a cassette recorder blew a hole in Pan Am 103 shortly after takeoff from London's Heathrow airport. It was the moment the United States and twenty other countries were drawn into the violent realm of terrorism.
The attack remains the most deadly terrorist attack on European soil. The loss of American life in a terrorist attack was surpassed on September 11th. Yet, still we are talking about 270 souls. 259 were on board the jumbo jetliner. Eleven others were killed on the ground in the Sherwood Crescent area of Lockerbie.
35 Syracuse University study abroad program students were on board. So were Glenn and Paula Bouckley who lived in the northern suburbs of Onondaga County. Two SUNY Oswego students were also killed in the bombing.
A full generation has passed since the Lockerbie Air Disaster, as it is called in Scotland. Lockerbie Scholars have attended Syracuse University. Syracuse students have kept alive the spirit of those lost with the annual designation of Remembrance Scholars.
The only man convicted in the bombing Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi served time, was released and then passed away. Earlier this year Lockerbie police were allowed to dig through investigative materials in Libya in a post Qadafhi regime.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements have been paid out. Much of the money has been reinvested into scholarships and good works.
Saturday those 25 years come together at Hendricks Chapel, Arlington National, Westminster Abbey and Dryfesdale Cemetery. A tribute to the process of never forgetting what took place just days before Christmas in 1988.
To mark the day we have included a link to our 10th anniversary documentary produced in 1998 called "Forward Lockerbie".
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