The small Scottish town of Lockerbie fell silent today as it remembered the 30th anniversary of the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 from London Heathrow to New York over the town.
The Lockerbie bombing cost the lives of 270 people with multiple victims on the ground as well as all the 243 passengers and 16 crew on board. The majority of those who lost their lives were U.S. citizens, with the victims including 35 students from Syracuse University in New York State.
Among those attending today’s memorial service were the family and friends of several of the U.S. citizens who lost their lives in the tragedy, according to the Daily Mail. There is also a similar memorial service taking place at Arlington National Cemetary in Virginia, where around 500 people are expected to attend.
The service in Lockerbie took place in the Memorial Garden at Dryfesdale Cemetery and included an emotional wreath-laying ceremony. The queen sent her “prayers and good wishes” to those attending and was represented by the Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries, while the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, was also present along with other local dignitaries and some journalists who covered the disaster.
Speaking at the memorial service, Reverend Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said, “scars from 30 years ago remain – they leave a mark that can never be removed, but while they will not disappear altogether and while we would never want to forget the horrendous cost of that single hateful act, we realize all the more acutely the sweetness of life and the need for it to be lived to the full.”
Travis Goodyear from Texas was one of those who traveled from the U.S. to attend. He was a Pan Am flight attendant and friends with many of the crew on Flight 103. He revealed how he almost canceled the trip, but eventually traveled and was believed he had achieved some closure from the service.
“It’s given me some closure, to be very honest,” he said. “It’s been 30 years, I was never able to muster up the energy or the motivation to come back. I left the States on Monday to come over and on Sunday I went in and canceled my trip, and then I rebooked. I knew that I needed to do this.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May also sent her thoughts and posted a message on Twitter saying, “Today we remember those who died in the Lockerbie bombing 30 years ago. On this tragic anniversary, my thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives and the Lockerbie community.”