TEXT:*93122211.NEA /Pan Am 103/ memorial svs. 12/21/sidebar/#nh as kf

*NEA311   12/22/93 *


(No Greater Love sponsors fifth annual commemoration)  (690)

By Norma Holmes

USIA Staff Writer

Washington --  It has been five years since 270 men, women and children from

22 countries died in the terrorist bombing of a night flight of Pan

American Airways flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  But the families can

1ever forget.

On December 21, 1993, at exactly 2:03 p.m. local time (1903 GMT), the moment

of the disaster, over 400 relatives -- children, parents, siblings and

spouses  of the 270 passengers who died in the 1988 disaster -- gathered at

Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown to commemorate the lives of those they

had lost, and to renew their pledge to strive for a world at peace, free of


The fifth annual "Candlelight Remembrance Service" sponsored by No Greater

Love, a private voluntary organization that extends friendship and care to

survivors, drew a number of U.S. officials, including Mary Ryan, Assistant

Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Richard Clark, National Security

Council, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Busick, Department of

Transportation, and Chaplain Barry Nash, U.S. Army.

Hymns by the Scottish bagpiper Dr. Richard Scott Blair, and bells ringing

from St. Paul's Cathedral in London echoed through the church as four

children who lost parents in the crash placed bouquets of "Remembrance

Roses" alongside the engraved names of the victims.

The two-hour commemoration was a simple and solemn "Roll Call of

Remembrance," read aloud by officials from 12 nations whose citizens were

lost: South Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Germany,

Israel, Italy, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United


Dr. John Knipple, No Greater Love Family Liaison and father of Corporal

James Knipple, a young Marine who was killed in the terrorist attack on the

U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut in October 1983, praised the families and

children for their courage after the tragedy and their commitment to the

cause of world peace.

The disaster occurred four days prior to Christmas in 1988 when a bomb,

believed to have been hidden in a passenger's transistor radio, exploded

while the 747 jetliner was over Lockerbie, Scotland, en route to the U.S.

and about 325 miles north of London.  After the explosion, wreckage from

the plane was strewn across a six-mile swath running east into Lockerbie.

A part of the fuselage plowed into a housing development, gouging out a

30-foot deep crater and killing 11 people on the ground.  In all, 259

people died.

Speaking at the dedication of a memorial to the victims at Arlington

National Cemetery earlier in the day, President Clinton told the grieving

families: "While this season and this day for you, and for all Americans,

are blackened by the agony of senseless loss, I pray that each of your

lives will be brightened by the monument we dedicate here."

A burial marker in the style of a traditional Scottish cairn of 270 red

stones from Lockerbie, Scotland -- one for each victim -- is to be erected

as a memorial in Arlington Cemetery, which is the grave site of a number of

former U.S. presidents.

Two Libyans, Abdel Basset Ali Al- Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, have

been charged by Western investigators and their governments in connection

with the bombing.  According to the indictment, the suspects were Libyan

intelligence agents employed by Libyan Arab Airlines at Valetta airport in

Malta, who hid the bomb in a suitcase, placed it on a flight to Frankfurt,

Germany, and tagged it for transfer onto Pan Am flight 103.

The United Nations Security Council, acting upon the evidence and Libya's

refusal to hand the men over for trial in the U.S. or the U.K., imposed

sanctions on Libya, including an air and arms embargo, in April 1992.

Pan American Airlines declared bankruptcy in 1991, and is no longer in

business.  Family members have filed 225 suits against Pan Am's insurer,

1.S. Aviation Insurers, for damages that could total $500 million.