ARLINGTON, Va. -- Families of some of
the 270 people who died in the bombing of an airliner over Scotland 25 years
ago gathered Saturday for memorial services in the U.S. and Britain.
Bagpipes played and wreaths were laid
in the Scottish town of Lockerbie and services were being held at London's
Westminster Abbey. In the United States, hundreds gathered at a service at
Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery where U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Pan Am 103, which was bound for New
York, 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,
remains the deadliest act of terror in Britain.
Whitney Davis lost her sister Shannon,
a Syracuse student, and other friends in the explosion.
"I was angry. I was in disbelief.
Mom was in shock, my brother was not saying much and I just was throwing
snowballs at the sky and wondering how this could have happened," said
Davis, of Bend, Ore., who brought her daughter to the memorial in Virginia.
Armen Khatchaturian, of Glen Ridge,
N.J., attended the service in Virginia to honor his close college friend and
former Fairleigh Dickinson fraternity brother, Elia Stratis, one of the
victims. The service took place near a cairn made of 270 stones that serve as
the official U.S. memorial to the bombing.
"It's indescribable what you go
through when you hear something like that. It's reality that hits you square in
the face, but the mind just can't process it. You can't believe it," said
He said he had a dream a few weeks ago
that he was back.
"My mind is still not processing,
not accepting that he is gone," he said.
In Scotland, officials including
Scottish leader Alex Salmond and relatives of victims gathered at Lockerbie's
Dryfesdale Cemetery on Saturday.
"In my heart, to me this is home
and there was no other place I felt I should be on this very sad and special
occasion," said Jane Schultz, who lost her 20-year-old son, Thomas.
"It's nice and peaceful and it's where Thomas was, so it's like coming
George Stobbs was Lockerbie's
senior police inspector and among the first responders on the scene. Now 79 and
retired, he's committed to keeping the memory of Lockerbie alive.
a lot of older people who have either moved away or passed on," Stobbs
told CBS News' Peter Greenberg, "and the younger generation, although they
don't want to forget it, they don't know a lot about it."
I think it's something that should never be forgotten," Stobbs said.
Syracuse was also holding a public
memorial service in a campus chapel as well as a procession to the university's
Wall of Remembrance.
To help keep Lockerbie
in the heart of its youth, an annual scholarship has been established for two of
Lockerbie's students to study at Syracuse University, where earlier this year
the Pam Am 103 Archives
launched an ambitious project to record the oral histories of many of those who
witnessed the bombing.
gave a number of people an opportunity to speak that never had that chance
before," Pan Am Flight 103 archivist
Edward Glavin told Greenberg.
One man - former Libyan intelligence
official Abdel Baset al-Megrahi - was convicted of the bombing. He was given a
life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in
2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in Tripoli last year.
Many questions remain unanswered about
the attack, but the governments of Britain, the U.S. and Libya on Saturday issued
a joint statement saying they will cooperate to reveal "the full
facts" of the case.
"We are striving to further
deepen our co-operation and welcome the visit by U.K. and U.S. investigators to
Libya in the near future to discuss all aspects of that co-operation, including
sharing of information and documents and access to witnesses," the