Remembering Pan Am Flight 103: Graeme Galloway

Graeme Galloway, an inspector for Police Scotland, was a rookie police officer in 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland.


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I think it is man’s inhumanity to man, isn't it, really? I mean, but you can never lose sight. I mean we talk about the disaster, but it was human-made—it was terrorists that caused that. Somebody had deliberately gone to blow up a plane. And you know the consequences of that, unfortunately. And I think it’s just that you would hope—particularly in today’s world, you know we see mass terrorism occurring right across the world—does it achieve anything? I don’t think so.

I think you just see the badness in the individual that’s carried out the act. But you see the goodness in the people that have to react to that act. And I think that you see that over and over again, that human nature and human kindness will always win. It doesn’t matter how bad the terrorism is, you never get rid of that human spirit. You have to actually do something about it and be better than the person that’s trying to change the world by blowing something up.

And you saw that at Lockerbie in spades. Just the amount of community interaction. Even down to the WRI and things like that that, Women’s Royal Institute, just coming out and making tea and coffee for people. And they organized themselves. They used to provide breakfast for people and lunches and tea and coffee. The volunteers that came to Dextar to sort through the clothing and wash it and launder it and ensure it’s returned in a good state to relatives. You know, these were volunteers—these were people that just wanted to do their wee bit to put something back in. And I think we can never ever lose sight of that—the people, that kind of human kindness. It will always, always, in my view, outshine any terrorist act.  

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