It’s hard to believe that it was twenty five years ago today since Pan Am flight 103 fell from the sky to change the world below forever. On Wednesday 21st December the Shortest Day fast became the longest night as the explosion and aftermath of the largest terrorist attack in the UK as the debris fell across the town of Lockerbie. I was only ten at the time but remember watching the images on TV and since then I have grown up watching the questions being asked time and again but many are still waiting for answers that may never come – the main one being “Why?”
This shook the world as it was a cowardly attack on both the UK and US with 270 people killed in cold blood. There has never been a real explanation of the reasons behind the action, neither has there been a proper investigation that has had full access to all the information – even now there are inquiries and sharing of information form the new Libyan Government to help all those affected to get some answers to the queries they still have about it. One of the biggest is still over Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi and his role – if any – in the tragedy.
Many still question his conviction and see him as a scapegoat figure for the then Libyan leader Gaddafi and his government. This comes both from Al-Megrahi’s family and from those who lost their family here in Scotland. One of the most familiar faces is Dr Jim Swire who lost his daughter Flora and he doesn’t believe that the conviction was sound or that it answered any of the questions that the families have still to this day.
With all acts of terrorism it is the innocent that seem to suffer most and yet those who carry out these attacks do not have an issue with the innocent, they disagree with political policy and words. While not a call to arms against our legislators you do have to ask why it is that these idiots constantly attack you and I instead of them. And what has been achieved in the 25 years since that day? Well a lot – but very little, if anything came as a result of those actions and the reactions by those effected. No one won that day – and that is the truth about events like Lockerbie.
Truth is a difficult thing to come by in these times and with the passing of time and the change in world politics and the politics of Libya itself we may find it hard to ever find the full and comprehensive answers that would help many to close the book on this horrific action. I’m not a fan of the word “closure” as it suggests that everything is concluded and we know that this is never the case, but if those truly responsible for the attack could be tried and prosecuted for their actions I believe that it would go someway to helping those living with the shadow of that day over their lives to move on.
Answers are still needed, questions are still being asked – hopefully it won’t be much longer before truths are revealed and people can finally close the book on this awful chapter of their lives.