Remembrance Week: Candlelight vigil commemorates Pan Am Flight 103 victims

The event was one of several that will be held this week to honor the 35 Syracuse University students killed in the 1988 attack.

Their memories glow like the flame.

Two neat rows of folded chairs were placed on the Quad in front of Hendricks Chapel. By nighttime, they glowed from small candles inside brown paper bags placed on each seat.

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed in a terrorist attack, killing 270 people including 35 Syracuse University students who were participating in a study abroad program . The flight exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, and is often referred to as the “Lockerbie bombing.”

The university keeps the students’ memories alive each year by teaching the campus community about the flight and raising awareness of terrorist attacks.

SU holds a candlelight vigil as part of Remembrance Week, an annual tradition that honors the 35 SU students killed in the attack. The event, held on Oct. 22 at 8:30 p.m., was filled with silence as students stood still and remembered those who were in their very shoes not too long ago.

“This was just a loss that shouldn’t have happened,” said music junior Shelby Dems. “This is really good that they do this every year. I wish that more people would come out.”

Carrying their candles, students walked from the Quad to the memorial in front of the Hall of Languages. While standing at the memorial site, the 35 Remembrance Scholars each shared which Pan Am Flight 103 victim they represent. There was a moment of silence and everyone blew out their candles.

Information Management and Technology senior and Remembrance Scholar Michelle Tarshus represents Miriam Luby Wolfe, one of the students killed in the 1988 attack. Tarshus said she chose to represent Wolfe because she reminds her of herself.

“I feel honored, above anything else, to be representing Miriam because she had such a strong love for life and she even said she wanted to dance and sing her way through life,” Tarshus said. “I love living in the moment and enjoying everything around me. And being able to represent her and what she believed in means the world to me.”


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