A poignant memory Pan Am 103

Old Dec 21st, 2018, 11:41 AM
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A poignant memory Pan Am 103

Itís 30 years today that Pan Am 103 was blown up over Dumfries and Galloway.

Many lost lives, all the passengers and many of our neighbours on the ground. Probably one of the worst days of my life, just days before Christmas.

At time I hoped that it would be the atrocity to end all others.

It was just the start.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 12:25 PM
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This one hit close to home for us as well.
The daughter of our friend and neighbor was coming home for Christmas on that flight.
According to the manifest, she was sitting right on top of the explosion.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
Itís 30 years today that Pan Am 103 was blown up over Dumfries and Galloway.

Many lost lives, all the passengers and many of our neighbours on the ground. Probably one of the worst days of my life, just days before Christmas.

At time I hoped that it would be the atrocity to end all others.

It was just the start.
Yes, unfortunately it was just the beginning. But even though we've since seen much bigger, I can still never forget this one (and I was not directly affected as you were).
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 12:42 PM
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The timing will never leave me.

Days before Christmas.

I’m not religious but a huge slice of the planet just recognise it as a time to step back and have warm feelings. In 1914, on Christmas Day, English troops played football with German troops on the battlefield.

In Marrakech last year, I saw 000s of Muslim kids celebrating Christmas, going to see Father Christmas.

4 years ago, in Thailand everyone wished us Happy Christmas.

30 years ago, 35 American students were amongst those just going home for Christmas.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 12:51 PM
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WA

That night, we were at a drinks party, where 2 people were members of the local mountain rescue team. They were called out.

They were used to lost walkers, sprained ankles and practicing for disasters.They never recovered from what they experienced over the three days of that Christmas.

I talk to my Dad about this. He’s 78.

His lifetime memories are punctuated by the first moon landing, winning the World Cup and the conquering of Everest.

Mine are mainly of lunatics blowing things up.

Last edited by BritishCaicos; Dec 21st, 2018 at 01:11 PM.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 01:05 PM
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A work colleague, Irving Sigal, (visiting our lab in the UK, from Merck, WestPoint) was killed on this flight, as we, blissfully unaware, attended our site Christmas party that night. I will never forget going into work next day and being told the news. I hope everyone affected by this tragedy - especially his family - has some peace now
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 01:13 PM
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I was working at the US Embassy in London at the time. I met the first group of families at Heathrow, and worked for weeks on the formalities. I had gone to bed early that night and missed a phone call from the duty officer. Had I taken it, I would have been on the first flight out with the Ambassador to visit the crash site. A good friend of mine went, and has never forgotten the horror.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 01:33 PM
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Fra

I know I have posted rubbish over the years winding up Americans but it’s just too easy to wind some of you up. All of us in Scottish Borders has always had a very close relationship to America. Many families left Scotland during the clearances and settled all over America. We have visited The States so many times, some visits to those distant relatives whose families left during the depression of the 30s.

To many of us here, there was a odd dynamic to 103.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 01:57 PM
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Yup half my ancestry came from the Scottish Borders (tiny Threepwood near Melrose) and got kicked off land by clearances for sheep farming (our family history says and they were moved first to Northern Ireland and then went to Canada and Michigan).

I felt and feel so sad for all but especially for those students going home after a trip of a lifetime.

Thanks for posting.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BritishCaicos View Post
WA

That night, we were at a drinks party, where 2 people were members of the local mountain rescue team. They were called out.

They were used to lost walkers, sprained ankles and practicing for disasters.They never recovered from what they experienced over the three days of that Christmas.

I talk to my Dad about this. Heís 78.

His lifetime memories are punctuated by the first moon landing, winning the World Cup and the conquering of Everest.

Mine are mainly of lunatics blowing things up.
I'm a mountain walker and I can't imagine a Scottish mountain rescue team going out to deal with this unthinkable tragedy.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 02:20 PM
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A dear friend of my daughter was on that flight, returning to the Sates with her mother, father, and sister. They had relocated to London the summer before and were coming back home for a Christmas visit. The seventh graders (12 and 13 year olds) were expecting her to come in to school the next day. After school, I drove a few of them over to the family's church for a very sad and solemn visit.

Several years later, my husband I were in Lockerbie, arriving very late one afternoon. The TI was already closed so we went to the police station to ask about memorial sites to visit. An officer escorted us to a private room and spent some time with us, sharing photos and directions to the Chapel and the Garden of Remembrance.

As I write and remember the days after the tragedy, and the visit to Lockerbie, and the visits to the cairn at Arlington cemetery, that profound sadness is smothering my heart once again.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 02:22 PM
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Unthinkable for the families.

The last reports I came across some years ago, was the attack was a direct order from Gaddafi following American actions in the Gulf of Sidri which resulted in the accidental death of his daughter.

Difficult for the families of 103 to rationalise that one.
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Old Dec 21st, 2018, 05:01 PM
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>>>The last reports I came across some years ago, was the attack was a direct order from Gaddafi following American actions in the Gulf of Sidri which resulted in the accidental death of his daughter.<<<

That was the report at the time, although it turned out she was not injured and was studying, I think medicine, as a young adult.
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