I can’t help but think about all the families affected today by the media reports that the Libya’s dictator, Moammar Gadhafi is dead.
All the families around the world whose lives were irreparably damaged by the commands and actions of this man will once again be thrown into the past revisiting horrific memories of sorrow and loss.
The closest to me, as fellow memories of survivors of homicide groups at the time, were the families of the Syracuse University students who were simply returning a few days before Christmas on Pan Am 103 in December, 1988. These young people had enjoyed a wonderful semester abroad and were coming home for the holiday season through New York’s JFK airport. But they never made it.
It took decades for these 270 victims’ families to get the cooperation of our own government to press for those responsible for the downing of this aircraft and it all led back to Gadhafi. And little justice was ever achieved.
Only months ago, the man supposedly responsible was released from prison because he was terminally ill. After all, we must be compassionate, now shouldn’t we?
As the news of Gadhafi’s death starts to move onto the airwaves, it will only be a few hours until the famous picture of the nose of Pan Am 103 will be up in all forms of media, thus bringing back the sad memories for these families.
I remember specifically one mother whose son was killed on Pan Am 103 and also a student at Syracuse University in upstate New York, telling me how every time she saw that picture of the plane’s nose, it pierced her heart. It brought all the pain and memories back again. It just never seemed to go away.
Well it’s been nearly 23 years since she and the other families both in the United States and those killed on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland have memorialized their loved ones.
Today, all that pain, all those memories will rush back in.
But I’d like to believe that instead, these US families and families all around the world who were affected by the orders of this ruthless killer, will finally feel some sense of justice, relief and satisfaction today, with the death of this vicious man.