On 21 December 1988, a cowardly act of terrorism blew PanAm's Clipper Maid of the Seas out of the sky over Scotland. Flight PA103, en route from London to New York, carried 259 men, women and children, their bags heavy with Christmas presents for those awaiting their homecoming. As the blazing wreckage fell on Lockerbie, it claimed the lives of 11 residents, bringing the death toll to 270 people.
The town of Lockerbie later shipped 270 blocks of locally quarried sandstone to America. Each block of the distinctive reddish stone represented a life lost in the disaster. The task of building these blocks into a memorial was undertaken by Frank Klein. A builder from New Jersey, whose daughter Patricia had been on PA103, Frank moved to Washington DC with some of his workers, and over several months lovingly erected the cairn that now stands in a secluded part of Section 1 in Arlington National Cemetery.
The Lockerbie Memorial Cairn was unveiled by Bill Clinton, the President of the United States. Among those attending the ceremony were the families of those killed, residents of Lockerbie, American and Scottish police officers, and many more for whom the horrors of those dark December days in Scotland will never fade.
In a quiet corner of Lockerbie's cemetery is a Garden of Remembrance. It is lovingly tended by local people, who have adopted those victims buried there, vowing always to visit the graves on behalf of their families. 3000 miles away, relatives gather every December at Arlington, where the names of their loved ones are engraved into the marble base of the Lockerbie Memorial Cairn – a unique and powerful tribute to such a devastating loss.
The group in the photo is (LtoR) Jim & Marie McNulty (Strathclyde
Police); Frank & Marie Klein; Pat & Monica Ferguson (Strathclyde Police);
Jeff & Jodie Klein with James & Jessica.
President & Mrs. Clinton at the Arlington National Cemetery memorial
service for the victims of Pan American Flight 103.
President Clinton today promised the families of the Pan Am 103 victims that the United States will keep pressure on Libya to turn over the suspects in the bombing. “We owe this not only to you, but to all Americans who seek justice,” he said.
Speaking in Arlington National Cemetery at a memorial service on the bombing's 10th anniversary, Clinton said the deal brokered by the United States and Britain for trying the bombing suspects in a neutral third country is “a take it or leave it offer,” and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would feel repercussions if he continues to balk at the deal's conditions.
“This was deliberate murder,” Clinton said. “None of us wants to live in a world where such violence goes unpunished and people can kill with impunity.”
Immediately, a man in the crowd shouted: “Bomb Gadhafi, Mr. President, please bomb Gadhafi.”
The 1988 bombing of the Pan American World Airways jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland killed 270 people.
The suspects are two Libyan intelligence agents, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. The United States and Britain want to try them in the Netherlands under Scottish law, but Gadhafi has refused to hand them over without a guarantee the men will serve any sentence in Libya.
“Our policy is not to trust Mr. Gadhafi's claims, it is to test them,” Clinton said. “If the suspects are not turned over, we will work at the United Nations with our allies and friends to seek even stronger measures against Libya. If the proposal fails, all should make sure the responsibility falls on Mr. Gadhafi alone.”
To the families, Clinton said: “Although 10 years, or 20 or 30 or 50, may never be long enough for the sorrow to fade, we pray that it may not be too long now before the wait for justice and resolution is over.”
After he spoke, Clinton joined Hillary Rodham Clinton and family members in laying roses on the meorial cairn erected in memory of the 270 victims, as the sun began to peek through a steel-grey sky.
The service reflected the compassionate, remorseful stance Clinton has assumed after becoming the first president in 130 years to be impeached. Earlier today, Clinton had only kind words for members of Congress as he ladled spaghetti sauce over a pan of lasagna at the D.C. Central Kitchen.
“I hope they have a merry Christmas,” Clinton said. “I hope everyone in the country will take some time to think about other people and do something in the spirit of the season — something like this.”
Mrs. Clinton worked beside her husband to prepare lunch for the hungry.
Later in the week, the embattled president will gather children around him in the White House's East Room and read holiday stories to them before settling in for a quiet Christmas at home.
White House spokesman Barry Toiv said Sunday that Clinton's activities were in keeping with his commitment to community service. “And of course, it's for the holiday season,” Toiv added.
But between the events lies a strategy to pull Clinton's presidency out of the ashes by the time the Senate opens an impeachment trial early next year. In the next two weeks, White House aides plan to seize on the lull in Congress and provide Clinton with forums to talk about his pet legislative topics — health care, education and Social Security.
Aides hoped the images of Clinton being compassionate while advocating popular social programs would help boost public support. An NBC poll conducted after Saturday's impeachment votes in the House found 72 percent of respondents approved of the way he handles the presidency, and aides were aiming to push the popularity ratings even higher by the time the Senate convenes his trial.
Clinton laid the foundation for this strategy Saturday just after the House passed two articles of impeachment against him. Dismissing Republican calls for him to resign, Clinton said he will serve “until the last hour of the last day” of his term in January 2001, and he appealed for an end to “the politics of personal destruction.”
“The president has an enormous ability … to take these events and deal with them and move on,” White House chief of staff John Podesta said Sunday on CNN's “Late Edition.” “He is fully capable of moving forward with the best powers that are held by the presidency, and we're going to continue to do that.”
Howard Baker, White House chief of staff under President Reagan, told ABC's “This Week” that Clinton demonstrated his ability to focus on his job over the weeks that the impeachment drama unfolded.
“You only have to look at the attack in Iraq,” Baker said. “I think the government can go forward.”
While Clinton is out displaying leadership, Podesta said, his aides will put a full press on the Senate to come up with an alternative to an impeachment trial and a vote on removing the president from office.
One Hundred Third Congress
United States of America
AT THE FIRST SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
the fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three
To authorize the placement of a memorial cairn in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, to honor the 270 victims of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Whereas Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb during the flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988;
Whereas 270 persons from 21 countries were killed in this terrorist bombing;
Whereas 189 of those killed were citizens of the United States including the following citizens from 21 States, the District of Columbia, and United States citizens living abroad:
Arkansas: Frederick Sanford Phillips;
California: Jerry Don Avritt, Surinder Mohan Bhatia, Stacie Denise Franklin, Matthew Kevin Gannon, Paul Isaac Garrett, Barry Joseph Valentino, Jonathan White;
Colorado: Steven Lee Butler;
Connecticut: Scott Marsh Cory, Patricia Mary Coyle, Shannon Davis, Turhan Ergin, Thomas Britton Schultz, Amy Elizabeth Shapiro;
District of Columbia: Nicholas Andreas Vrenios;
Florida: John Binning Cummock;
Illinois: Janina Jozefa Waido;
Kansas: Lloyd David Ludlow;
Maryland: Michael Stuart Bernstein, Jay Joseph Kingham, Karen Elizabeth Noonan, Anne Lindsey Otenasek, Anita Lynn Reeves, Louise Ann Rogers, George Watterson Williams, Miriam Luby Wolfe;
Massachusetts: Julian MacBain Benello, Nicole Elise Boulanger, Nicholas Bright, Gary Leonard Colasanti, Joseph Patrick Curry, Mary Lincoln Johnson, Julianne Frances Kelly, Wendy Anne Lincoln, Daniel Emmett O'Connor, Sarah Susannah Buchanan Philipps, James Andrew Campbell Pitt, Cynthia Joan Smith, Thomas Edwin Walker;
Michigan: Lawrence Ray Bennett, Diane Boatman-Fuller, James Ralph Fuller, Kenneth James Gibson, Pamela Elaine Herbert, Khalid Nazir Jaafar, Gregory Kosmowski, Louis Anthony Marengo, Anmol Rattan, Garima Rattan, Suruchi Rattan, Mary Edna Smith, Arva Anthony Thomas, Jonathan Ryan Thomas, Lawanda Thomas;
Minnesota: Philip Vernon Bergstrom;
New Hampshire: Stephen John Boland, James Bruce MacQuarrie;
New Jersey: Thomas Joseph Ammerman, Michael Warren Buser, Warren Max Buser, Frank Ciulla, Eric Michael Coker, Jason Michael Coker, William Alan Daniels, Gretchen Joyce Dater, Michael Joseph Doyle, John Patrick Flynn, Kenneth Raymond Garczynski, William David Giebler, Roger Elwood Hurst, Robert Van Houten Jeck, Timothy Baron Johnson, Patricia Ann Klein, Robert Milton Leckburg, Alexander Lowenstein, Richard Paul Monetti, Martha Owens, Sarah Rebecca Owens, Laura Abigail Owens, Robert Plack Owens, William Pugh, Diane Marie Rencevicz, Saul Mark Rosen, Irving Stanley Sigal, Elia Stratis, Alexia Kathryn Tsairis, Raymond Ronald Wagner, Dedera Lynn Woods, Chelsea Marie Woods, Joe Nathan Woods, Joe Nathan Woods, Jr.;
New York: John Michael Gerard Ahern, Rachel Maria Asrelsky, Harry Michael Bainbridge, Kenneth John Bissett, Paula Marie Bouckley, Colleen Renee Brunner, Gregory Capasso, Richard Anthony Cawley, Theodora Eugenia Cohen, Joyce Christine Dimauro, Edgar Howard Eggleston III, Arthur Fondiler, Robert Gerard Fortune, Amy Beth Gallagher, Andre Nikolai Guevorgian, Lorraine Buser Halsch, Lynne Carol Hartunian, Katherine Augusta Hollister, Melina Kristina Hudson, Karen Lee Hunt, Kathleen Mary Jermyn, Christopher Andrew Jones, William Chase Leyrer, William Edward Mack, Elizabeth Lillian Marek, Daniel Emmet McCarthy, Suzanne Marie Miazga, Joseph Kenneth Miller, Jewell Courtney Mitchell, Eva Ingeborg Morson, John Mulroy, Mary Denice O'Neill, Robert Italo Pagnucco, Christos Michael Papadopoulos, David Platt, Walter Leonard Porter, Pamela Lynn Posen, Mark Alan Rein, Andrea Victoria Rosenthal, Daniel Peter Rosenthal, Joan Sheanshang, Martin Bernard Carruthers Simpson, James Alvin Smith, James Ralph Stow, Mark Lawrence Tobin, David William Trimmer-Smith, Asaad Eidi Vejdany, Kesha Weedon, Jerome Lee Weston, Bonnie Leigh Williams, Brittany Leigh Williams, Eric Jon Williams, Stephanie Leigh Williams, Mark James Zwynenburg;
North Dakota: Steven Russell Berrell;
Ohio: John David Akerstrom, Shanti Dixit, Douglas Eugene Malicote, Wendy Gay Malicote, Peter Raymond Peirce, Michael Pescatore, Peter Vulcu;
Pennsylvania: Martin Lewis Apfelbaum, Timothy Michael Cardwell, David Scott Dornstein, Anne Madelene Gorgacz, Linda Susan Gordon-Gorgacz, Loretta Anne Gorgacz, David J. Gould, Rodney Peter Hilbert, Beth Ann Johnson, Robert Eugene McCollum, Elyse Jeanne Saraceni, Scott Christopher Saunders;
Rhode Island: Bernard Joseph McLaughlin, Robert Thomas Schlageter;
Texas: Willis Larry Coursey, Michael Gary Stinnett, Charlotte Ann Stinnett, Stacey Leanne Stinnett;
Virginia: Ronald Albert Lariviere, Charles Dennis McKee;
West Virginia: Valerie Canady;
United States Citizens Living Abroad: Sarah Margaret Aicher, Judith Bernstein Atkinson, William Garretson Atkinson III, Noelle Lydie Berti, Charles Thomas Fisher IV, Lilibeth Tobila Macalolooy, Diane Marie Maslowski, Jane Susan Melber, Jane Ann Morgan, Sean Kevin Mulroy, Jocelyn Reina, Myra Josephine Royal, Irja Syhnove Skabo, Milutin Velimirovich;
Whereas 15 active duty members and at least 10 veterans of the United States Armed Forces and members of their families were among those who lost their lives in this tragedy;
Whereas the terrorist bombing of Flight 103 was unquestionably an attack on the United States;
Whereas a memorial cairn honoring the victims of the bombing of Flight103 has been donated to the people of the United States by the people of Scotland;
Whereas a small, vacant plot of land, unsuitable for gravesites, has been located in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia; and
Whereas Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, is a fitting and appropriate place for a memorial in honor of those who perished in the Flight 103 bombing:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to place in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, a memorial cairn, donated by the people of Scotland, honoring the 270 victims of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 who died on December 21, 1988, over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard