Sunday, 21 December 2008

Lockerbie Twenty Years On: A Reflection

On the Saturday before Pan Am flight 103 blew up and the debris landed on Lockerbie and its environs I was being driven up the then A74 towards Glasgow for the night en route to Northern Ireland for the Christmas holidays. The time was approximately the same as when 4 days the name of the small Dumfrieshire town became ingrained on the consciousness of the world.

It may not of been the first time that a plane was blown up for terrorist purposes but it had the most impact because the plane and majority of its passengers were American. Sadly it is often the case with world news and disasters that we tend to ignore many of them when the line no one from our country was killed in the outcome. It doesn't take away from the horror or suffering of those affected but we often tend to focus on ourselves, or at least those like us.

It is worth looking at what is currently going on this close to Christmas. Yes to some extent we are aware of the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe because Mugabe is somewhat of a public enemy of the year. But often disasters elsewhere outside of our western comfort zone are confined to the margins both in our medias coverage and in our own minds and hearts.

Of course the events of 21 December 1988 were startling and disturbing. Something that possible didn't get surpassed in UK and US viewers minds until the events of 9/11 but all the reflecting today has got me to thinking of all the things forgotten that have been equally if not more galling. So in 2009 I will continue to see out some of these less covered events, indeed I think I'll try to cover more of them, and try my best to find updates and keep the narrative flowing.

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