ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Families of some of the 270 people who died in an airliner bombing 25 years ago gathered for memorial services Saturday in the United States and Britain, honoring victims of a terror attack that killed dozens of American college students and created instant havoc in the Scottish town where wreckage of the plane rained down.
Bagpipes played and wreaths were laid in the Scottish town of Lockerbie and mourners gathered for a moment of silence at London’s Westminster Abbey, while U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told victims’ relatives at Arlington National Cemetery they should take comfort in their unity even if time cannot erase their pain.
“We keep calling for change, and fighting for justice, on behalf of those no longer with us. We rededicate ourselves — and our nation — to the qualities that defined the men and women we lost,” Holder said.
The events marked the 25th anniversary of the explosion of Pan Am 103, a New York-bound flight that exploded over Lockerbie less than an hour after takeoff from London on Dec. 21, 1988. Many of the victims were American college students flying home for Christmas, including 35 Syracuse University students participating in a study abroad program.
The attack, caused by a bomb packed into a suitcase, killed all 259 people aboard the plane, and 11 others on the ground also died.