Sunday, 21 December 2008

20 years since Lockerbie bombing

Today marks 20 years since Lockerbie.

It's a mark of the impact the bombing of Pan Am 103 had on us all on 21 December 1988, that we simply refer to it as "Lockerbie" and everyone knows what we mean.

I remember it well, I remember the shock waves that reverberated round the country. Nothing like that had happened here that any of us could remember. STV's Jim Delahunt who was a reporter with a local radio station at the time was one of the first on the scene. He wrote about it some years later, for a collection of true stories I published. I'll look it out and put it on here because it was a fascinating recollection of a truly horrific and shocking crime.

It must be a tough day for the families left behind as they think back to twenty years ago when they first heard the news and had to wait to find out if their loved ones had survived. Dr Jim Swire has been a leading light in the search for the truth. His 23 year old daughter Flora died that day and he has been relentless in his attempts to bring her killers to justice.

But what compassion and courage must it take to speak out as he does, and say that he believes the man convicted of the bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, is not guilty? It takes a good man to do that, most would prefer to believe it was true if only to give a focus for their anger. A friend of mine has nominated him for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award and I can see why.

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