ACCESSION NUMBER:318421 FILE ID:NEA311 DATE:12/22/93 TITLE:FAMILIES OF LOCKERBIE BOMBING REMEMBER 270 VICTIMS (12/22/93) TEXT:*93122211.NEA /Pan Am 103/ memorial svs. 12/21/sidebar/#nh as kf *NEA311 12/22/93 * FAMILIES OF LOCKERBIE BOMBING REMEMBER 270 VICTIMS (No Greater Love sponsors fifth annual commemoration) (690) By Norma Holmes USIA Staff Writer Washington -- It has been five years since 270 men, women and children from 22 countries died in the terrorist bombing of a night flight of Pan American Airways flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. But the families can 1ever forget. On December 21, 1993, at exactly 2:03 p.m. local time (1903 GMT), the moment of the disaster, over 400 relatives -- children, parents, siblings and spouses of the 270 passengers who died in the 1988 disaster -- gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown to commemorate the lives of those they had lost, and to renew their pledge to strive for a world at peace, free of terrorism. The fifth annual "Candlelight Remembrance Service" sponsored by No Greater Love, a private voluntary organization that extends friendship and care to survivors, drew a number of U.S. officials, including Mary Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Richard Clark, National Security Council, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Busick, Department of Transportation, and Chaplain Barry Nash, U.S. Army. Hymns by the Scottish bagpiper Dr. Richard Scott Blair, and bells ringing from St. Paul's Cathedral in London echoed through the church as four children who lost parents in the crash placed bouquets of "Remembrance Roses" alongside the engraved names of the victims. The two-hour commemoration was a simple and solemn "Roll Call of Remembrance," read aloud by officials from 12 nations whose citizens were lost: South Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. Dr. John Knipple, No Greater Love Family Liaison and father of Corporal James Knipple, a young Marine who was killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut in October 1983, praised the families and children for their courage after the tragedy and their commitment to the cause of world peace. The disaster occurred four days prior to Christmas in 1988 when a bomb, believed to have been hidden in a passenger's transistor radio, exploded while the 747 jetliner was over Lockerbie, Scotland, en route to the U.S. and about 325 miles north of London. After the explosion, wreckage from the plane was strewn across a six-mile swath running east into Lockerbie. A part of the fuselage plowed into a housing development, gouging out a 30-foot deep crater and killing 11 people on the ground. In all, 259 people died. Speaking at the dedication of a memorial to the victims at Arlington National Cemetery earlier in the day, President Clinton told the grieving families: "While this season and this day for you, and for all Americans, are blackened by the agony of senseless loss, I pray that each of your lives will be brightened by the monument we dedicate here." A burial marker in the style of a traditional Scottish cairn of 270 red stones from Lockerbie, Scotland -- one for each victim -- is to be erected as a memorial in Arlington Cemetery, which is the grave site of a number of former U.S. presidents. Two Libyans, Abdel Basset Ali Al- Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, have been charged by Western investigators and their governments in connection with the bombing. According to the indictment, the suspects were Libyan intelligence agents employed by Libyan Arab Airlines at Valetta airport in Malta, who hid the bomb in a suitcase, placed it on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, and tagged it for transfer onto Pan Am flight 103. The United Nations Security Council, acting upon the evidence and Libya's refusal to hand the men over for trial in the U.S. or the U.K., imposed sanctions on Libya, including an air and arms embargo, in April 1992. Pan American Airlines declared bankruptcy in 1991, and is no longer in business. Family members have filed 225 suits against Pan Am's insurer, 1.S. Aviation Insurers, for damages that could total $500 million. NNNN .