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The Lockerbie Air Disaster: Pan Am 103

1157 words - 5 pages

Terrorism – This is a word that many people are terrified of. When a terrorist attack occurs, people’s daily routines are shattered. Things change instantaneously the moment the bomb goes of. When we think about a terrorist attack that really impacted the world, we immediately think about 9/11. On that day many people were hurt directly and indirectly. People were disorientated and scared. The moment there is change, the world panics. Unfortunately, 9/11 was not the only day where people panicked. On 1988, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 occurred. This terrorist attack was not as massive as 9/11; but, it did leave scares especially to the Syracuse University community.

On December 21, 1988, the Pan American flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. This flight was traveling from London Heathrow to New York-JFK when it exploded 31,000 feet above Lockerbie, Scotland just 38 minutes after takeoff. It carried 259 passengers in which all died that tragic day. The airplane was destroyed by a Semtex plastic explosive, which was placed in the forward cargo hold. It was hidden in a Toshiba radio-cassette player. Because the explosion happened in the air, the pieces of the airplane dispersed and did not stay in one place. On Lockerbie, Scotland, the large pieces of the airplane shattered and killed 11 people on the ground.
Unfortunately, this was not a surprise attack. Investigations made found out that on December 5, 1988 the Helsinki, Finland embassy received an unsubstantiated threat. The United States notifies airlines, airports and embassies in Europe of a possible bomb attack. The only thing that was learned was that a Pan American World Airways flight leaving Frankfurt, Germany would be attacked. The Europe government till this day say that the Heinsinki Warning had no connection to the bombing of Pan Am 103. When this information can to air, it became the source of great dispute among the people. When you think about it, the people had the right to fight. People at this time of impact look for answers and try to find sense in all that has happened. When they heard that there was some type of warning, they were trying to figure out why the bombing occurred. They thought if there was a warning that the government would act on trying to prevent any disgrace to occur or even by informing civilians about the threat. Many of the questions held about the bombing was who planted it there and how the person was able to go threw security. Thus, investigations began to start and are still going on today.
After taking in the Lockerbie Air Disaster, people began mourning there relatives that had died in the tragic flight. The first memorial was held on the first of January in 1989. Syracuse was not far behind. On the 18th of January of the same year, Syracuse University held a memorial service. This service has held in the Carrier Dome. During the year 1989, the Chancellor of the University was Melvin A. Eggers. His response to the tragic...

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