Journey Towards Peace
On the 21st of December 1988, Pan Am flight 103, on its way to New York, exploded as a bomb detonated in the hold. All 259 people on board died, along with 11 people on the ground, as the wreckage fell on Lockerbie and its surrounding fields. Out of the devastation and loss, the people of Lockerbie demonstrated deep compassion for all the families affected. Over the years their dedication has not diminished but become part of this small town’s psyche. Thirty years on, its inhabitants are focused on the future and continue to act for peace.
‘Wish For Peace’ Flag Ceremony, Lockerbie ‘peace’ School
20th December 2018
The Flag Ceremony was held outside in the school grounds, with Allanton staff, Lockerbie School staff and pupils, and a student from Syracuse University. 35 students from Syracuse University, USA, died in the Lockerby Tragedy. The school and university have since developed a special connection, which made their presence at the ceremony all the more important.
Every country of the world was represented by its flag carried by one of the 320 pupils taking part as Peace Ambassadors. As their flag’s country name was read out the children raised their flag with pride as wishes for peace in that country were made. Special attention was given to those countries directly affected by the Lockerbie Tragedy:
Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America.
‘Pilgrimage to Tundergarth’, Tundergarth Parish Church
21st December 2018
Sited beside the field where, in 1988, the cockpit and forward section of the Pan Am plane fell, Tundergarth Church was a fitting location for reflecting on our journey towards peace.
The service was attended by local MPs, MSPs, Priests, Journalists, Landscape Artists, Farmers, Church members and Shepherds and led by the Reverend Alan D MacDonald, a Church of Scotland Minister, whose family had farmed locally. His service’s theme of Peace referred to the humble nomadic lifestyle of the shepherds in the Christmas story and drew parallels with the often harsh reality of farming in Dumfries and Galloway, but also the incredible beauty of the landscape around Lockerbie and love of the land. He went on to emphasise that the Prince of Peace welcomes everyone, those of all faiths and of none.
Wendy Stewart, an internationally known Scottish Clarsach player and composer, played the Gathering Music and the music to Leave into the Landscape.
‘Walk for Peace’, Burnswark
Burnswark, long-time sacred site and navigational aid to aircraft, overlooks Lockerbie and the fields where the cockpit and forward section of the Pan Am plane came down, all within a context of broader views extending as far as the English Lake District.
Sixty people came together, walking in silence to the top, baring the 21 flags of the countries that lost citizens in the Tragedy.
“The people of Lockerbie have already demonstrated their warm, gracious and sensitive hospitality in a time of great crisis. With these healing and commemorative events, they are again setting an example to the world, that communities can move forward positively, and actively make a statement that peace on Earth is our biggest priority at this moment in time. May peace prevail on Earth.”
To understand what happened in 1988, see Craig Williams’s article on the BBC website.
We wish to thank Dr. Jan Hogarth, Susan Neal, all the staff and students of Lockerbie School, Mike Bolam, Rev Dr Alan McDonald, members of Tundergarth Parish Church, Wendy Stewart, Prof. David Munro, Lockerbie Riding of the Marches, Wide Open, The Holywood Trust and everyone who attended and supported these events.
May Peace be in Lockerbie