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Monday, Sep 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm

New Pan Am Exhibit Opening

By Amber McElrath – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – A new exhibit to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Pan-Am Flight 103 opened in Bird Library on September 13th. The exhibit is called “We Remember Them: The Legacy of Pan Am Flight 103” and is meant to honor all 259 individuals on board the plane, with special focus on the 35 Syracuse students who lost their lives.

The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 occurred on December 21, 1988 which resulted in the plane crashing in Lockerbie, Scotland. The Syracuse students who lost their lives were returning from studying abroad throughout Europe. The exhibit documents the terrorist act but also focuses on the lives lost and the ways in which the university remembers them.

“It’s important to think about tone when talking about a tragedy like this. Of course, we want to be historically accurate, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be somber,” Pan Am 103 Archivist Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn said.

The exhibit wants to encourage individuals to look back in remembrance but also see the positivity that has come out of such tragedy, including actions by the university and the community.

The exhibit features materials from the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives and has photos from Lawrence Mason, a Remembrance and Lockerbie Ambassador, who has traveled to Scotland and photographed the area extensively.

The tragedy of Pan Am Flight 103 is honored at Syracuse University every year through Remembrance Week and the Remembrance Scholar program. However, officials in charge of the program felt that something special needed to be done for the 30th anniversary.

“Anniversaries can be a hard time for everyone involved because it reminds us that it wasn’t that long ago that such a tragic event happened,” Remembrance Scholar Audra Linsner said.  

The exhibit will be open until June of 2019 on the second floor of Bird Library for anyone who is interested in learning more about the history of an event that is such a defining characteristic in Syracuse’s history. Family members of those lost in Pan Am Flight 103 were invited to an opening reception of the exhibit on September 13th.