Remembering Victims of Flight 103
Every year on December 21, victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 are remembered at a memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Father Patrick Keegans, Holy Trinity Church, Lockerbie Scotland, 1988: At 7:04 p.m., Pan Am Flight 103, destroyed by a bomb on board the aircraft, crashed into the town of Lockerbie. The darkness came. The lights went out. The house shook violently. And a mighty explosion tore Darby Crescent apart. And then there was silence.
Kathryn Turman, Program Director, FBI Office for Victim Assistance: Pan Am Flight 103 was a flight that started in Frankfurt. It was a feeder flight. The main flight took of from Heathrow Dec. 21 1988 with 259 passengers, most of them Americans, but actually representing 21 different countries. It was a Christmas flight full of families and soldiers and people travelling for the holidays. About 20 minutes, 30 minutes after it took off from Heathrow over Scotland it blew up. Most of the plane and wreckage and victims fell over Lockerbie Scotland. Eleven people on the ground were killed. It took about a week to find out that it was a bomb that took the plan down.
Stuart Henderson, Senior Investigator, Scottish authorities: The most important thing we learned in this investigation was the need for the sharing of information. It is essential--the working ability to be able to go out to different countries and seek out the information, at an early stage.
Turman: The memorial was established, I think it was dedicated in 1997 or 1995; I can’t remember the exact date. But it was built with 270 stones donated by the people of Scotland, one for each victim, and it was designed by the father of one of the American victims. And every year on the anniversary, the families and people who were friends of the victims, and supporters, gather here on the 21st of December to remember the victims.
Richard A. Marquise, retired special agent who led FBI’s Lockerbie task force: I think it’s meaningful, I have a colleague form Scotland who’s come all the way to represent the United Kingdom and Scotland at this memorial service because he believes it’s important because Scotland played a key role in investigating and solving this case.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller: Fighting terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority. For those of us in the Bureau, our work is not merely finding and prosecuting those who would do us harm. It is making sure that other families will not suffer as you have. To ensure they will never have to endure such long days of darkness.
(bagpipe music – Amazing Grace)
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