Lockerbie bombing victims remembered on 20th anniversaryDecember 21st, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS
London, Dec 21 (IANS) Memorial services and stoked memories in Britain Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, when the Pan Am Flight 103 from Heathrow to New York exploded in the skies above the Scottish town on this date in 1988.All 259 people on board were killed and a further 11 died in Lockerbie where the plane crashed.
Services were held in two churches in Lockerbie and a commemorative wreath was laid at the Dryfesdale cemetery garden of remembrance. There was also a private memorial at Heathrow Airport chapel led by Rev. John Mosey, whose daughter Helga died in the disaster.
The Times spoke to the wife of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi - the Lockerbie bomber who is serving a life sentence - who maintained he was innocent and said that he became a sacrificial lamb for the whole of Libya when he agreed to be tried for a crime that he says he did not commit.
Aisha said al-Megrahi surrendered his freedom so that his country, accused of the bombing, could free itself from United Nations sanctions and improve its global image.
But the cynosure of all eyes on Sunday was 11-year-old boy Luke Nesfield. He is the last descendent of a prosperous Lockerbie family devastated by the bombing.
Luke’s grandfather Tom Flannigan, then 44, his wife Kathleen and daughter Joanne, died when the fuselage of the Pan Am aircraft slammed into their home.
Luke’s father Steven, then 14, survived as he was in a neighbour’s garage building a cycle as a Christmas present for Joanne. Steven’s elder brother David survived too, as he was not in the house at that time.
Steven and David got a 2 million-pound compensation from Pan Am.
David drank himself to death with his share, dying of a heart attack in Thailand in 1993, consumed by rage and guilt at the destruction of his family.
Steven inherited his brother’s remaining wealth and became a dad when partner Lisa Gregory gave birth to Luke in August 1997, nine years after the atrocity.
Steven died after being hit by a train in 2000, leaving Luke the heir to the money. As the only direct descendant of the Flannigan family, Luke became entitled to £6million in blood money from the Libyan government paid as compensation to all the victims. By the time he accesses it in 2018, it will be worth more than £18million.
Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Luke said: “I’ve no idea what I’ll buy with the money. I don’t really think about it that much. Maybe a Gibson Les Paul guitar. It’s not that great that when I’m older I’ll get all the money, because I would rather have my dad than all the money.”
He has only the faintest memories of his father, who died days after his third birthday. “The nice thing is that next August he’ll go to Lockerbie Academy, the same school his father attended,” Luke’s mother Lisa said.
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- Libyan Justice Minister Al-Jleil says Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie bombing - Feb 23, 2011
- U.S. presidential candidate Romney calls on Libyan rebels to extradite Lockerbie bomber - Aug 23, 2011
- Lockerbie bomber escapes with Gaddafi? - Aug 26, 2011
- Blair met Gaddafi aide before Lockerbie bomber's release - Sep 25, 2011
- Colonel Gaddafi personally ordered Lockerbie bombing: Ex- Justice Minister - Feb 24, 2011
- Lockerbie bomber found at mother's house - Aug 29, 2011
- Family of Lockerbie bomber refuse to discuss his health - Sep 20, 2010
- Britain told US not to intervene in Lockerbie bomber release: Wikileaks - Apr 11, 2011
- 'Lockerbie bomber close to dying' - Dec 09, 2010
- My opinion misinterpreted: Lockerbie bomber's doctor - Aug 15, 2010
- Libya trade loss fears led British ministers to back Lockerbie bomber's release: Wikileaks - Feb 01, 2011
- Lockerbie bomber's family to sue Scotland over 'medical neglect' in jail: Gaddafi - Dec 03, 2010
- Freed to die, Lockerbie bomber prolonging life with help of 'miracle cure' drug - Aug 14, 2010
- Clinton seeks review of Lockerbie bomber's release decision - Jul 20, 2010