Journey Towards Peace

Burnswark, 22nd December (Photo: Mike Bolam)

Burnswark, 22nd December (Photo: Mike Bolam)

Compassion

On the 21st of December 1988, Pan Am flight 103, on its way to New York, exploded as a bomb detonated in the hold. All 259 people on board died, along with 11 people on the ground, as the wreckage fell on Lockerbie and its surrounding fields. Out of the devastation and loss, the people of Lockerbie demonstrated deep compassion for all the families affected. Over the years their dedication has not diminished but become part of this small town’s psyche. Thirty years on, its inhabitants are focused on the future and continue to act for peace.

[We need to] shift people’s perspective from an area associated with a tragedy to a special spiritual landscape with a courageous community, who held this tragedy with love, compassion and kindness. Thirty years on, you would hope humanity would be working towards achieving peace on earth. We don’t have time to look backwards, we must work together to achieve this ambition.
— Dr. Jan Hogarth, organiser of the Journey Towards Peace event
 
Flag Ceremony, 20th December (Photos: Chris Lake)

Flag Ceremony, 20th December (Photos: Chris Lake)

P1080916.JPG
 

Hope

‘Wish For Peace’ Flag Ceremony, Lockerbie ‘peace’ School

20th December 2018

The Flag Ceremony was held outside in the school grounds, with Allanton staff, Lockerbie School staff and pupils, and a student from Syracuse University. 35 students from Syracuse University, USA, died in the Lockerby Tragedy. The school and university have since developed a special connection, which made their presence at the ceremony all the more important.

Every country of the world was represented by its flag carried by one of the 320 pupils taking part as Peace Ambassadors. As their flag’s country name was read out the children raised their flag with pride as wishes for peace in that country were made. Special attention was given to those countries directly affected by the Lockerbie Tragedy:

Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America.

I really felt that during the Flag Ceremony, … the children recognised the importance of holding the flag and sending their ‘Wishes for Peace’ to their country.
— Glenda
The children were so innocent, enthusiastic and happy to be holding their flag. That in itself made everybody feel that the future will not be bad at all.
— Kaoruko
 
The flags of the 21 countries that lost citizens in the Lockerbie Tragedy (Photo: Mike Bolam)

The flags of the 21 countries that lost citizens in the Lockerbie Tragedy (Photo: Mike Bolam)

 

Pilgrimage

‘Pilgrimage to Tundergarth’, Tundergarth Parish Church

21st December 2018

Sited beside the field where, in 1988, the cockpit and forward section of the Pan Am plane fell, Tundergarth Church was a fitting location for reflecting on our journey towards peace.

The service was attended by local MPs, MSPs, Priests, Journalists, Landscape Artists, Farmers, Church members and Shepherds and led by the Reverend Alan D MacDonald, a Church of Scotland Minister, whose family had farmed locally. His service’s theme of Peace referred to the humble nomadic lifestyle of the shepherds in the Christmas story and drew parallels with the often harsh reality of farming in Dumfries and Galloway, but also the incredible beauty of the landscape around Lockerbie and love of the land. He went on to emphasise that the Prince of Peace welcomes everyone, those of all faiths and of none.

Wendy Stewart, an internationally known Scottish Clarsach player and composer, played the Gathering Music and the music to Leave into the Landscape.

 
Walk for Peace, Burnswark (Photo: Mike Bolam)

Walk for Peace, Burnswark (Photo: Mike Bolam)

 


Peace

‘Walk for Peace’, Burnswark

22nd December

Burnswark, long-time sacred site and navigational aid to aircraft, overlooks Lockerbie and the fields where the cockpit and forward section of the Pan Am plane came down, all within a context of broader views extending as far as the English Lake District.

Sixty people came together, walking in silence to the top, baring the 21 flags of the countries that lost citizens in the Tragedy.

We were blessed with a calm, clear day with atmospheric skies, as we climbed to the top of Burnswark. The 60 people were very moved, as we stood at the top, looking over the beautiful landscape that absorbed the shock of the disaster of 30 years ago. We carried the flags of the 21 countries that lost citizens, and carried the Earth flag to represents our world community.

Speaking with the farmer on the hillside, he remembers the day vividly, and sometimes thinks he can still smell the aftermath. His daughter, Krystal, carried the Lockerbie banner on a beautiful, noble, white horse, called Rebel.

Many conversations, memories, impressions and thoughts were shared, in an open-hearted and warm, honest, safe space, where we could connect with the healing power of the landscape.
— Caroline
 
Krystal carrying the Lockerbie banner, on her horse Rebel, up Burnswark (Photo: Jessica Wheeler)

Krystal carrying the Lockerbie banner, on her horse Rebel, up Burnswark (Photo: Jessica Wheeler)

 

“The people of Lockerbie have already demonstrated their warm, gracious and sensitive hospitality in a time of great crisis. With these healing and commemorative events, they are again setting an example to the world, that communities can move forward positively, and actively make a statement that peace on Earth is our biggest priority at this moment in time. May peace prevail on Earth.”

- Caroline

 
Peace makers and people of Lockerbie on top of Burnswark (Photos: Chris Lake)

Peace makers and people of Lockerbie on top of Burnswark (Photos: Chris Lake)

20181222_105945_1500.jpg
 

To understand what happened in 1988, see Craig Williams’s article on the BBC website.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Lockerbie_Scotland_Pan_Am_flight_103 


We wish to thank Dr. Jan Hogarth, Susan Neal, all the staff and students of Lockerbie School, Mike Bolam, Rev Dr Alan McDonald, members of Tundergarth Parish Church, Wendy Stewart, Prof. David Munro, Lockerbie Riding of the Marches, Wide Open, The Holywood Trust and everyone who attended and supported these events.


May Peace be in Lockerbie

 

May Peace be in Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America.

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Liz Mackley