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20 years: The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 21, 2008 12:19 PM

It started long before September 11. It started long before W. Never forget:

Memorial stone at Lockerbie, Scotland

Arlington National Cemetery

The Lockerbie Cairn, through its 270 blocks of red Scottish sandstone, memorializes the 270 lives lost in the terrorist attack on the United States when Pan Am flight 103 was bombed Dec. 21, 1988, over Lockerbie Scotland. It is a gift of the people of Scotland to the people of the United States, financed entirely through private donations. The ill-fated flight was enroute from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York via London’s Heathrow Airport. Twenty-seven minutes after leaving London, at 7:02 p.m. the plane exploded, raining fragments on the city of Lockerbie, including an entire wing and engines. Eleven of the 270 dead were on the ground. The passengers and crew included people from 22 countries. Among them were 189 Americans, including 15 active-duty military and 10 veterans.

Senate Joint Resolution 129 designating Arlington National Cemetery as the site of the Cairn was unanimously passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in November, 1993.

The blocks of standstone come from Corsehill Quarry of Annan, Scotland, about eight miles southeast of Lockerbie and in the flight path of Flight 103. Corsehill Quarry, operating since 1820, has acquired a world-wide reputation for producing sandstone of superb quality. Stones from this quarry are used in many buildings in the United States including, most notably, the base stones of the Statue of Liberty.

A traditional Scottish monument form, a cairn can be an informal heap of stones or may take a more orderly mortared construction. In this instance, the 270 stones are mortared into a short tower-like circular form measuring approximately seven feet across at the base and tapering to a height of about 10 and a half feet.

The Memorial Cairn is being erected in Arlington National Cemetery in memory of the 270 lives lost in the One hundred and eighty-nine were Americans, including 15 active duties military and 10 veterans.

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