Commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Pan Am 103 at Arlington National Cemetery

Melanie Daniels and Kathy Tedeschi

On December 21st, 2013, more than 550 people met at the Scottish Cairn at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia at 1:30 p.m. for a service marking the 25th anniversary of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. We had miraculous weather–it was 70 degrees and sunny–surely someone up there was watching over us and bringing us perfect weather.

Chaplain Capt. Ted Randall of the U.S. Army offered the devotional and benediction; the Pender United Methodist Church Choir of Fairfax, Va., sang three musical pieces; bagpiper Ray Bilter played three pieces; and soloist Diane Marketta sang “I Was Here.”

In addition to these participants, speakers included Attorney General Eric Holder; former FBI Director Bob Mueller; Transportation Security Administration Director John Pistole; and Right Honorable David Mundell, MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Scotland. Ann McLaughlin Korologos, head of the Presidential Commission in 1989-90, was our keynote speaker. Deputy Chief Constable Ian Livingstone of Police, Scotland, and Right Honorable Frank Mulholland, QC, Lord Advocate of Scotland, also delivered messages. As a final tribute, the Scottish delegation brought two bagpipers, one of whom (Alan Maltman) had written a lament in honor of our loved ones, which they played. The sheet music was later presented to Mary Kay Stratis, chairman of the board of VPAF 103.

We want to thank all who made this service the special service that it was, including the Reverend Tiffany Steinwert, dean of Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel, and the Reverend Sandy Stoddart of Lockerbie, who co-wrote a special prayer that was read in several places that day at the same time: in Arlington (read by Kara Weipz), in New York City, in Syracuse, in London, and in Lockerbie.

We want to thank all the Syracuse staff and Remembrance Scholars who helped with the buses, as we had to ride buses to and from the hotel or the visitor center and the Cairn. These students and staff organized all this and it ran smoothly. We want to thank all the family and friends who helped with the program–the ones who read names, who carried the wreath, who carried heather around the Cairn, and all those who helped with the press, the publishing of the program, the hotel, flowers, and dinners that were offered for everyone for the weekend.

We want to thank the staff of Arlington National Cemetery for their help and all the phone calls and e-mail. We also have a special thank you to Kathryn Turman of the Justice Department. We absolutely could not have a service in the D.C. area without her help. When we were told we couldn’t shuttle handicapped people up to the Cairn, Kathryn pulled strings and got FBI agents who could do it! She is wonderful!

We want to thank several videographers and photographers. Emil Brandafi of Valiant Video Productions videotaped our service. Brice Daniels and Chris Tedeschi had planned to videotape the service and stream it to the hotel for those who could not make it to the service, but since the weather was so mild, everyone came to the cemetery. Brice did do a slideshow of pictures that were sent to him for the December 20th dinner, which was enjoyed by all. Ray Pagnucco also videotaped the service, and Brice and a group of former Pan Am flight attendants took nice photos of the afternoon.

All in all, we wish to thank the VPAF 103 board for all of their help in the planning of the service. We could not have done it without their help.