Syracuse University Remembrance Week: Honoring Student Lives Lost In Pan-Am 103 Bombing
Silence and a peaceful calm came over Syracuse University’s Kenneth Shaw Quad Monday with 35 empty chairs to remember the 35 students who died aboard Pan Am Flight 103. The chairs were set up in the approximate seating layout where the students sat aboard the flight that was a target of a terrorist’s bomb in 1988.
Those seats will remain on the Quad all week and bear the name of each victim, as the University holds Remembrance Week. Remembrance Scholar Abigail Tick represents victim Pamela Elaine Herbert.
"It is beautiful to be a part of such a historic legacy," said Tick. "I’ve been able to speak to Elaine’s family, and that’s been really meaningful. Just with the pandemic that we’ve had recently, having a n opportunity to meet other students on this campus and be a part of something bigger than ourselves has been really, really rewarding.”
SU gives out 35 Remembrance scholarships each year in honor of the victims, which in turn keep their memories alive. That’s exactly what scholar Morgan Eaton experienced, representing Amy Elizabeth Shapiro.
"It was lovely reading all about her friends, because they described her as just vivacious and full of life. She had the nickname ‘the butterfly’ just because she brought that much joy and excitement to everybody’s lives," said Eaton. "She was passionate about writing. She has some incredible poems that are present in the archives over at Bird Library.”
Advisor Kelly Rodoski was an SU student herself in 1988 when the bombing of PAN-AM Flight 103 occurred. She vividly recalls what that experience was like and is grateful current students get to experience it in a very personal way.
"It really I think brings it home, particularly for these students who are the same age that those students were when they died. So this is something that really hits home and it makes them think about what happened,” said Rodoski.
Remembrance scholars laid a rose on each of the seats after a silent 35 minutes to posthumously honor the SU victims. Remembrance week will continue with a documentary tonight and a celebration of life Thursday. Details of all the remembrance activities are on the Remembrance Scholars website.