Sunday, 8 December 2013

Relatives and inhabitants remember the Lockerbie disaster

[Today’s edition of The Sunday Times contains (behind the paywall) an article headlined Lockerbie remembers. It reads in part:]

Relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing and others who survived say those who died would not want them to be bitter about Britain’s worst terrorist attack.
Speaking on the eve of the 25th anniversary, they said the bombing victims would want them to live “joyfully” rather than give in to terrorism.
Others taking part in a new television documentary about the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Dumfriesshire, have told how the horror of the atrocity, which claimed 270 lives, still lives with them daily.
As Scottish prosecutors continue to investigate the attack, following the death last year of the convicted bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, some of those touched by the tragedy have relived the events around December 21, 1988. (...)
Lockerbie priest [RB: and Justice for Megrahi committee member] Fr (now canon) Patrick Keegans described the moment of impact as he realised he had to get his elderly mother out of their house and away from the flames. He lived at Sherwood Crescent, where the fuselage of the jet landed, destroying three homes and claiming the lives of several residents. “The whole house went dark and shook so much it was impossible to move. I thought, ‘I’m going to die here’ and then everything went still. I opened the front door and the street was gone. The whole street was on fire. There were fires in the garden, rubble and debris everywhere.” (...)
For many relatives of those killed in the attack, the release on compassionate grounds of Megrahi, three years before his death, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer has been a source of anger.
However, Keegans believes the victims would not want those who survived to be bitter. “If those who have died were able to speak to us just now, what would they say? ‘Live your lives joyfully because that’s how we want you to live your lives.’
"Because in the back of my head, there was this thought, we’re not going to allow the terrorists to have our lives as well.”
Janine Boulanger, whose 21-year-old daughter Nicole was returning to the United States after six months in Britain, agrees.
“The world is full of hate and terror and I have decided that I need to concentrate on the goodness that surrounds us and the beauty of life because I don’t think my daughter would want anything else,” she said.
The Lockerbie Bombing is broadcast on December 17 at 9.30pm on STV and 11pm on ITV

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