Lockerbie Monument Is Dedicated for Second Time : Bombing: Families, including five who boycotted first ceremony, friends of victims, residents of the Scottish town attend.
Retired building contractor Frank Klein labored 13 weeks and used 270 sandstone bricks in building a memorial to the victims of Pan American Airways Flight 103. But it was not just another project: His daughter was among the passengers aboard the jet when it plunged to the ground at Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
Klein and his wife, Marie, were among the 75 to 100 people--family and friends of victims and residents of the Lockerbie area--who attended a second ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on a sunny, blustery Saturday to remember those who died.
The ceremony was held a day after President Clinton dedicated the memorial, an 11-foot-high tapered circular tower known as a cairn--a traditional Scottish monument.
After two months of discussion, five families decided to boycott Friday’s ceremony because, some family members said, they do not believe the U.S. government has done enough to force Libya to extradite two Libyans indicted by the United States in the bombing.
“That was not an easy decision” to boycott Friday’s ceremony, said Bert Ammerman, the unofficial spokesman for the families. Ammerman lost his brother, Tom, in the crash. Ammerman’s mother, Peg, attended Saturday’s service as did members of four of the five families who boycotted Friday’s event, he said.
Saturday’s event gave family members an opportunity to bring emotional closure to the tragedy, some said.
“This is closure on the emotional side. But there is no closure on the truth,” said Joe Horgan, whose 30-year-old brother-in-law, Michael Doyle, was on the plane.
The 270 sandstone bricks--one for each of the 259 people aboard the plane and 11 people on the ground who perished--came from a quarry near Lockerbie and were kept for five years in Horgan’s North Wales, Pa., warehouse.
The five families are now pressing the U.S. government to release all evidence on the crash. They met privately with U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno on Friday, Ammerman said.
“If you can’t get a trial, which is not a reality, then let’s put forward the evidence. Let the force of moral shame come down, let people write books about it,” said Aphrodite Tsairis, whose 20-year-old daughter, Alexia, died in the crash.
Family members wore on their lapels a sprig of heather and a dime-sized photograph of their lost loved one in a round silver frame. Tsairis said the picture she wore was taken by her daughter, who was a photojournalism student.
Susan and Peter Lowenstein wore a picture of their 21-year-old son, Alexander.
The heather, Susan Lowenstein said, grows wild on the Scottish countryside not far from where her son’s body was found.
Others, like the Kleins, who lost their 35-year-old daughter, Patricia, in the crash, did not boycott Friday’s service. “As long as the memorial stands, she and all the poor souls that perished will never be forgotten,” said Marie Klein, who lives in Trenton, N.J.