Lockerbie: Love and compassion will defeat violence and hate '“ leader comment

Thirty years ago today, 270 people from 21 different countries died when a terrorist bomb exploded on Pan Am flight 103 and the plane crashed into the town of Lockerbie.

Wreckage of Pan Am flight 103 on the ground at Lockerbie (Picture: Martin Cleaver/AP)

Those responsible for this atrocity achieved little but the creation of an enduring sense of sadness among the relatives and friends of the dead.

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However, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament yesterday, in words endorsed “entirely” by Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw, the response from those affected by this “almost unimaginable tragedy” has been one of “solidarity, compassion and love”. She pointed to the scholarships created by Syracuse University, which lost 35 students, for two pupils from Lockerbie Academy every year, as a “powerful example” of how to remember the past “which also builds hope for the future”.

As we mark this sombre anniversary, we should recognise that the true antidote to such senseless, cruel violence is indeed love, compassion and hope. By displaying such qualities, those who wish to make the world a more peaceful place will ultimately triumph.