On the 21st of December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed in the air by a terrorist bomb. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed, and 11 more people were killed by falling wreckage on the ground.
It has long been on my mind to visit the final resting place of these victims, who were randomly and horribly murdered through no fault of their own.
I finally got that opportunity last fall.
There was a small museum on the cemetery grounds that kept memorability from the tragedy, along with correspondence, maps, and photos sent in from the families and friends of the victims.
After seeing this very tasteful memorial, we were directed to where the remains were permanently interred.
I had the honor of seeing a play based on this tragedy, The Women of Lockerbie, by Deborah Brevoort, performed by The Actor’s Gang at the Ivy Substation in Culver City, California, 2007.
The play focused on the American side of the tragedy, the families of the victims, left with nothing to represent their lost loved ones, and also on the Scottish side, with the local women who mourned their own victims, who died on the ground. These local women methodically collected every scrap of clothing, every item that had fallen from Flight 103. They cleaned up the items, washed the clothing, and replaced it within the remains of the luggage wherever possible. These fragments were then saved in case the families ever came searching. Inevitably, some did.
It made all of the horror and tragedy not any less terrible, but additionally reached out to a level of acceptance and sadness and love.
Finally visiting the cemetery in Lockerbie kind of brought things full circle for me. We can never undo this sort of horrible circumstance. We can only remember, and vow never to forget, so that these poor souls will not have died in vain.