SU Employee Travels to Lockerbie to Mark 25th Anniversary of the Bombing of Pan AM Flight 103

Dec 20, 2013

Believe it or not, on Saturday, it will be exactly 25 years since the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that took the lives of 270 people, including 35 Syracuse University students.  To mark the anniversary of the tragedy, an S-U employee decided to finally make her long-awaited trip all the way to Lockerbie, Scotland. The town lost 11 of its own residents in the tragedy. WAER’s Pete Sweeney reports. 

Roses remembering victims of Pan Am Flight 103
Credit SU Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives

Kelly Rodoski, now a Communications Manager at S-U, was a student at the university at the time of the bombing in 1988.

   “As a student on campus, it affected me profoundly because you don’t expect that to happen to people who are your age and are following the same trajectory that you’re following.” Now, 25 years later, she finds herself in Lockerbie, Scotland, giving her the opportunity to experience things about the tragedy she has never had the chance to before. 

Victims of Pan Am Flight 103
Credit SU Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives

 “Yesterday we were able to visit Tundergarth and that’s the field in which the nose-cone of the plane landed. Just an amazing, very profound experience to actually walk the ground where this happened and it’s really truly a sacred place.”

 Since 1991, two students from Lockerbie have come to Syracuse each year for a year of study as part of the Lockerbie Remembrance Scholar program.  While in Scotland, Kelly has found that for some scholars, memories of the tragedy are still embedded in their minds.

Credit SU Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives

  “I was at lunch today with one of the remembrance scholars from the early 2000's and he remembers the smell of jet fuel from the tragedy and he was only six at the time.” Tomorrow, Rodoski will attend a memorial service designed by some of the Lockerbie scholars that have already been to Syracuse and back.  Here in Syracuse, there will be a service beginning at 2:03 PM in the afternoon at Hendricks Chapel.  The service will end with a procession to the Wall of Remembrance. All are welcome to attend.

Finally, Hendricks Chapel Dean Tiffany Steinwert and Lockerbie’s Rev. Sandy Stoddart have composed a Common Prayer, an ecumenical statement to be distributed widely – especially via social media – and intended to be read on Dec. 21 at 2:03 p.m. (Eastern time, 7:03 p.m. Greenwich time).

 To view photos, a timeline of the events since Pan Am Flight 103 and more Click Here to visit the Syracuse University Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives.  Exhibits are also open to the public on the 6th floor of SU's Bird Library and a photo exhibit in Newhouse One.