Pan Am Flight 103 and its impact on Syracuse University, explained

Daily Orange File Photo

The 2015-16 Remembrance Scholars stand in front of the Wall of Remembrance during last year's Rose Laying Ceremony, which concludes the Remembrance Week events.

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 passengers aboard and 11 people on the ground. Among those killed in the tragedy were 35 Syracuse University students, who were traveling from London to New York City after completing a study abroad program.

After the bombing, SU created the Remembrance Scholarship to honor the SU students who were lost. Every year 35 rising seniors at SU are selected to represent the students who were killed. The Remembrance Scholars also work together to hold a series of events honoring the victims during Remembrance Week, which is typically held at the end of October since the anniversary of the bombing occurs during winter break.

headshots all_FINALClare Ramirez | Presentation Director

Remembrance Scholars

Here are the 35 SU students chosen as the 2016-17 Remembrance Scholars:

scholars 2017 Clare Ramirez | Presentation Director

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Here are past Remembrance Scholars:








Lockerbie Scholars

In addition to Remembrance Scholars, SU also selects two Lockerbie Scholars every year. The students chosen as Lockerbie Scholars get the opportunity to travel from Lockerbie, Scotland to Syracuse for a year of study through the Syracuse-Lockerbie Scholarships, which are funded by the university and the Lockerbie Trust.

The 2016-17 Lockerbie Scholars are Shona Beattie and Sian McLaughlin.

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Remembrance Week

Remembrance Week usually takes place near the end of October. Each year, Remembrance Week has the theme of “Look Back, Act Forward” to honor those lost during the bombing.

Throughout the week various events are planned by the Remembrance Scholars. In the past, these events have included a documentary screening, an open mic night and a candlelight vigil.

In addition to holding events throughout the week, chairs showing where each SU student sat on Pan Am Flight 103 are set up on the Quad. Balloons shaped like doves are tied to the chairs, and when Remembrance Week is over, they are released.

At the end of each Remembrance Week is the Rose Laying Ceremony, which is always held on a Friday at 2:03 p.m. because that is the time Pan Am Flight 103 exploded. The ceremony is held in front of the Hall of Languages at the Wall of Remembrance, a memorial with the names of all 35 SU students who died engraved on it.

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During the ceremony, the Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars are called one by one to say a few words about the SU student they are representing or about their experience as a scholar. After they are done speaking, the scholar lays a rose on the Wall of Remembrance.

Following the Rose Laying Ceremony a Remembrance Convocation is held in Hendricks Chapel to honor that year’s Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars.

Here is a timeline of events related to the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing:

pan am timeline Clare Ramirez | Presentation Director


The Daily Orange will continue to update this Explainer as new information about the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing and Remembrance Week at SU is released.


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