To mark the 30th anniversary of the bombing of PanAm 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988, a group of local cyclists will ride this October from Lockerbie to Syracuse University in in upstate New York.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell joined team leader Colin Dorrance and the rest of the cyclists at Lockerbie Academy to launch the project. The Secretary of State was the first signatory in a commemorative book which will accompany the team on the journey to Syracuse University.
Mr Mundell said:
I was really pleased to be part of the launch of ‘Cycle to Syracuse’. Five local men are going to cycle from Lockerbie Academy to Syracuse University to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Since then, hugely important links have been forged between Lockerbie - particularly between Lockerbie Academy - and Syracuse University. It is right that we mark this significant anniversary by showing how important the link between Lockerbie and Syracuse is.
On 21 December 1988, 259 people boarded PanAm Flight 103 at London Heathrow and did not make it home. They were killed by a terrorist bomb aboard the aircraft, which detonated in the skies above Lockerbie. The resulting collision of the aircraft wreckage in the town killed 11 residents on the ground and traumatised hundreds more. Thirty years on, ‘Cycle to Syracuse’ aims to complete the journey on behalf of those who could not. It will remember those lost in the air and on the ground, the work of the emergency services and the response of the townspeople in the aftermath.
A group of five local men will form the core of the team, representing Lockerbie Academy, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Ambulance Service and RAF Mountain Rescue Service.
They will also raise money for local youth mental health charity Soul Soup. People can donate online and also find further information on the cycle.