Today, December 21, 2013, marks twenty-five years since the tragedy of Pam Am flight 103 and the day our aviation community mourned this terrible loss. Join us for a moment of silence at 1902 GMT.
Twenty-five years ago, on December 21st, 1988, a terrorist's bomb ripped apart Pan Am Clipper Maid of the Seas, raining fire, wreckage and death on a quiet Scottish town. The bombing of Pan Am 103 left wounds that still ache, for the families, the people of Lockerbie and for Pan Amers around the world.
On December 21 1988, Flight #103 departed London Heathrow bound for New York Kennedy airport. A bomb destroyed the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew aboard the flight. For many of us, including our flying partners who were formerly with Pan American, these were friends and flying partners. An additional 11 people on the ground also perished that day.
Onboard the flight that day were passengers and crew from 21 countries with 189 American citizens, 43 British citizens and no more than 4 of the remaining 37 victims came from any one of the 19 other countries affected by this unconscionable terrorist act.
In memory of those who perished, stained glass windows by Scottish artist John Clark represent the flags of the nations of the victims of the bombing of Pan American Flight 103. These windows are installed in the town hall in Lockerbie, Scotland.
This moment of silence today is the remembrance concept of three former Pan Am flight attendants. Olgalis Chacon developed the idea. Romlee Stoughton designed the memorial cover and Anne Sweeney wrote and distributed the message.
This is their message:
"We hope you will join us in spirit, wherever you are on December 21st at 1902 GMT to remember the 259 passengers and crew and the 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, who perished because of this unconscionable terrorist attack.
The tragedy was the beginning of the end of Pan American World Airways, an aviation icon. For those of us in the Pan Am Family the loss of our company was shattering. If Pan Amers and their friends around the globe, simultaneously remember Flight 103, we can honor those lost to us and remind the world that on that December day, the heart of Pan Am perished too."
Many among our AFA ranks were personal friends and flying partners with the crew of Pan Am 103. Paul Hudson, flyersrights.org President and one of our coalition members to keep knives off planes, lost his daughter on flight 103. In memory of our lost friends and flying partners we join in this remembrance today. And every day we continue our advocacy for the safe and secure aviation system. In their names we find extraordinary meaning in our roles as first responders and aviation's last line of defense.
We will always remember Pan Am 103.