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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ramblings on Pan Am Flight 103...

For many folks their first experience with terrorism was with the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 ,the terrible Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, or even the horrific second World Trade center bombing, but one that struck close to home for me was the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103...

I had officially become a soldier in the summer of 1988 and had 3 weeks of vacation around Christmas later that year. My parents had provided me with airfare to spend Christmas with some relatives in Dusseldorf, Germany.

I had been enjoying my down time experiencing a European Christmas which was quite different from the ones I had experienced in the South growing up. I can still recall the tolling of church bells at midnight on Christmas morning. That is a truly an amazing experience that if you are given the chance, you should experience it.

I am getting a little ahead of myself here...

My relatives had shown me a wonderful time, with a weekend trip to Paris, a tour of the Netherlands, and all the wonders of Dusseldorf. Life was good with no worries... terrorism only happened to people in far away places...

I was in a far away place, and terrorism was about to come calling nearby...

We were all enjoying watching TV on the evening of December 21, 1988 when the news came on and announced that Pan Am Flight 103 had crashed. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the news that night, but over the course of the next week and half, we learned that it was a probable terrorist attack. As a side note, back in 1988 you did not have access to all the 24/7 news channels, Internet, and news radio like you do today. Today one can get INFORMATION OVERLOAD if you wish!

In a week and a half, *I* would be on a commercial jet flying back stateside. I was wondering if a similar fate awaited me...

I remember telling my relatives farewell as I boarded a Lufthansa flight from Dusseldorf to JFK International in NYC. My flight was going to the same destination that Pan Am 103 was headed to and I prayed I would be safe. I will not say I had a sense of dread as I boarded, or was even worried, because the thrill of flying (well it is thrilling to me) was greater than anything that could possibly happen. However it crossed my mind a few times as we crossed the Atlantic.

I was dozing in my seat, when all of sudden Frank Sinatra's New York, New York starting playing (Lufthansa used to do this on all their flights when the plane was getting close to JFK). I had never been so happy to hear that song! That song song still brings back that fond memory and sense of relief.

You know the rest of the story, I lived to tell the tale.

The bad guys were found guilty and locked away... well until Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is about to released on "COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS" WTF!!! WTF!!! again WTF!!!

Where is the compassion for the 270 people he killed??? All humans deserve forgiveness, but we should never forget and we should never treat him any better than he treated his victims.

Sorry tonight for the rant folks, but this really makes me angry that this scumbag is possibly getting to go home to die with COMPASSION with his family! To bad Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi didn't have compassion for his 270 victims AND THEIR FAMILIES!

I bring this up folks, just to point out, the good guys don't always win, and evil can still triumph in this world I am sad to say...

Later,
ZA

1 comment:

Al The Unbound One said...

That was quite a story! I might add, this was also about the time period when the Ayatollahs were sending assassins to murder Iranian dissenters and when Middle Eastern and Euro-Communist terrorists were kidnapping people and bombing discoteques. So you were in some real danger on the ground as well as in the air.

I'm glad you're still here with us, ZA, and 10-4 on the sentiments against the dirt-bag terrorist. Freedom-loving people everywhere need to watch their six and keep their powder dry!

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