Pan Am 103 - Never Forget | Syracusefan.com

Pan Am 103 - Never Forget

sabach

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I'll be with my kids tonight at the Dome to watch the Syracuse men's basketball team play Niagara just as I was thirty-five years ago as a Freshman at SU. It was a night I will never forget. I had finished all of my finals and was waiting in my dorm room to go walk over to the Dome to watch the Orangemen play a basketball game and then go home to celebrate Christmas with my family. It was a happy day. Then the news came that shocked me to my core. Thirty-five of my fellow SU classmates were murdered over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland in a terrorist attack of Pan Am Flight 103. The students were coming home from a semester abroad. I didn't know what to do. As this article says, I too was in a haze. Back then, we did not have 24 hours news nor the internet so details were coming in very delayed and sketchy. I decided to still go to the game and cheer for the SU students on the court in memory of the ones who would no longer get to see a basketball game, their families or the lives that were ahead for them. Today, we all remember 9-11. But, as an SU student in 1988, this was our 9-11. More United States civilians died in that bombing than in any other terrorist attack before 9-11. I have watched over 1000 Syracuse basketball games in my life and only twice have I cried during one, March 30, 1987 when Keith Smart hit the shot to beat SU in the National Championship game, and December 21, 1988 when we said goodbye to thirty-five fellow students gone too soon. Never forget. Orange Forever.

‘We were all in a fog’: Syracuse beat Western Michigan hours after Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy
 
Very sad day for the Syracuse community. What people might not know is that Oswego had a couple students also coming back from a semester abroad. They have set up a very nice memorial to honor them and a couple alumni who perished in the 9/11 attacks.

 
I'll be with my kids tonight at the Dome to watch the Syracuse men's basketball team play Niagara just as I was thirty-five years ago as a Freshman at SU. It was a night I will never forget. I had finished all of my finals and was waiting in my dorm room to go walk over to the Dome to watch the Orangemen play a basketball game and then go home to celebrate Christmas with my family. It was a happy day. Then the news came that shocked me to my core. Thirty-five of my fellow SU classmates were murdered over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland in a terrorist attack of Pan Am Flight 103. The students were coming home from a semester abroad. I didn't know what to do. As this article says, I too was in a haze. Back then, we did not have 24 hours news nor the internet so details were coming in very delayed and sketchy. I decided to still go to the game and cheer for the SU students on the court in memory of the ones who would no longer get to see a basketball game, their families or the lives that were ahead for them. Today, we all remember 9-11. But, as an SU student in 1988, this was our 9-11. More United States civilians died in that bombing than in any other terrorist attack before 9-11. I have watched over 1000 Syracuse basketball games in my life and only twice have I cried during one, March 30, 1987 when Keith Smart hit the shot to beat SU in the National Championship game, and December 21, 1988 when we said goodbye to thirty-five fellow students gone too soon. Never forget. Orange Forever.

‘We were all in a fog’: Syracuse beat Western Michigan hours after Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy
Very well said. I was at that game as well. It was a very surreal experience. It somehow felt wrong to cheer on such a joyless day. Although I didn't personally know any of the students on the flight, (I did know someone who was supposed to be), it hit me hard. I don't recall who we played or what the outcome of the game was as it didn't really matter. It was the first time that it dawned on me that living in the USA did not protect me from terrorism.
 
I know someone who was in that class who decided she would extend her stay a few more days to spend more time with her “foster” family. Her best friend was on the plane. She flew home and stayed in her friend’s home in order to grieve with her parents and attend her funeral. She was staying in her friend’s room, and one night she woke up and her friend was sitting at the foot of the bed. They talked, and her friend insisted that she tell her mother something about colored pieces of cloth. When she reported (a little fearfully) this conversation to the parents in the morning, the mother gasped, “I know what she was talking about!” She went into a room and came out with a basket full of quilting squares that her daughter had been working on.

Needless to say, that vision/dream was very comforting to my friend and also the parents.
 
Our good friend at the time missed the plane as his business meeting in London went later than expected. He still has the boarding pass.
On another note, my father and brother were waiting in Rome to board one of the planes hijacked by terrorists, but it was hijacked on the way to Rome. They were scheduled to board it and travel to Boston.
 
I'll be with my kids tonight at the Dome to watch the Syracuse men's basketball team play Niagara just as I was thirty-five years ago as a Freshman at SU. It was a night I will never forget. I had finished all of my finals and was waiting in my dorm room to go walk over to the Dome to watch the Orangemen play a basketball game and then go home to celebrate Christmas with my family. It was a happy day. Then the news came that shocked me to my core. Thirty-five of my fellow SU classmates were murdered over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland in a terrorist attack of Pan Am Flight 103. The students were coming home from a semester abroad. I didn't know what to do. As this article says, I too was in a haze. Back then, we did not have 24 hours news nor the internet so details were coming in very delayed and sketchy. I decided to still go to the game and cheer for the SU students on the court in memory of the ones who would no longer get to see a basketball game, their families or the lives that were ahead for them. Today, we all remember 9-11. But, as an SU student in 1988, this was our 9-11. More United States civilians died in that bombing than in any other terrorist attack before 9-11. I have watched over 1000 Syracuse basketball games in my life and only twice have I cried during one, March 30, 1987 when Keith Smart hit the shot to beat SU in the National Championship game, and December 21, 1988 when we said goodbye to thirty-five fellow students gone too soon. Never forget. Orange Forever.

‘We were all in a fog’: Syracuse beat Western Michigan hours after Pan Am Flight 103 tragedy
Thanks for sharing.
 
It’s hard to believe it has been 35 years since this tragedy occurred. I was a senior when this happened, and it seems like this anniversary hits me harder now then it did in 1988. I guess I was young and dumb back then and I get more sentimental about my time at SU as I get older. Whenever I visit campus, I always stop at the memorial wall to pay my respects to my fallen classmates. Even if I didn’t know any of them personally, we are all #ForeverOrange.
Never Forget.
 
My wife used to work at CNN Center in Atlanta. They used to, (maybe still do) have big pictures of various important stories that they’d covered over the years. One photo they had was of the blown out shell of the plane laying on its side. I could never look at it as it always made me nauseous and upset.
 
I was 11 and heard about it when Syracuse channel 3 announced it while I was watching Unsolved Mysteries.
 

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