Lockerbie Victims Remembered - 25th Anniversary
The victims of the Lockerbie bombing are being remembered today on the 25th anniversary of the attack
Memorial events attended by politicians, officials, families and members of the community will be held both at home and abroad. Services will take place in Lockerbie, London and in the US where most of the 270 victims were from.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and Lord Wallace, Advocate General for Scotland, will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Dryfesdale Cemetery in the Dumfries and Galloway town.
Scotland Office minister David Mundell and Scotland's Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, will attend a memorial event at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC.
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the Right Reverend Lorna Hood at a service in Westminster Abbey.
Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will attend an evening service at Dryfesdale Church in Lockerbie.
Pan Am flight 103 was on its way from London to New York when it exploded above Lockerbie, in southern Scotland, on the evening of December 21 1988, killing everyone on board and 11 people on the ground.
Mr Salmond said: ``On this 25-year anniversary, and as the country prepares once more to relive the harrowing events of that terrible night, it is important that we remember that the pain and suffering of the families and friends of those who died has endured since that winter night in 1988. ``As the community of Lockerbie marks the milestone, memorial events will be held in Westminster Abbey, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and at Syracuse University which lost 35 students in the bombing. ``But, inevitably, a focus of the day will be on the memorial in Lockerbie and it is there that I will pay my respects and condolences on behalf of the people of Scotland.''
Prime Minister David Cameron said: ``To families, friends, neighbours, loved ones and all those caught up in the painful process of recovery, let us say to them: our admiration for you is unconditional; for the fortitude and resilience you have shown; for your determination never to give up. You have shown that terrorist acts cannot crush the human spirit. That is why terrorism will never prevail. ``And even in the darkest moments of grief, it is possible to glimpse the flickering flame of hope.''
Speaking on behalf of the Scottish prosecution service, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and solicitor general Lesley Thomson said: ``Saturday is a time to remember those who lost their lives on December 21 1988 and the impact it had on so many lives then and since that tragic night. ``On behalf of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, our message is simple: Always remembered, never forgotten; forever in our hearts.''
Only one man, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was convicted of the bombing. He was found guilty in January 2001 and given a life sentence. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, leading to a decision to free him under compassionate release rules. Mr MacAskill took that decision on August 20 the following year, sparking a row among politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.
Megrahi died in Tripoli, Libya in May last year. Despite the guilty verdict and Megrahi's decision to drop a subsequent appeal against conviction, politicians, campaigners and families of victims are still dealing with the impact, with some of the British relatives considering another appeal against his conviction when they meet with lawyers in the new year.