We left our hotel in England's Lake District early in the morning. The atmosphere was thick with fog as we started to make our way towards Scotland.
Our drive took us right through the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. I knew that Lockerbie was famous for a plane crash, but it happened when I was ten years old and I didn't remember the specifics.
On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in the town of Lockerbie when a terrorist planted bomb exploded on the plane. Two hundred and seventy people died, included eleven on the ground in the town. In addition to the fatalities, Lockerbie sustained a lot of damage, including a huge crater in the town. It still remains both the UK's deadliest air disaster and terrorism incident.
We had not planned on stopping in Lockerbie, but when we realized that we were driving through it, we decided to pull off to see if we could find a memorial. As soon as we exited the freeway, we saw signs leading us to the memorial that was located inside of Dryfesdale Cemetery.
We visited on a quiet Monday morning, where we were among only a few visitors. The cemetery is beautiful and old, with many of the markers indicating war service.
The Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial is located in the center of the cemetery, surrounded by colorful flowers. The flowers in the memorial were the only splash of color in an otherwise, very grey cemetery. We walked around and took a moment to reflect at each grave or memorial marker. A sobering realization was that many of the people who were killed were younger than us. There was a group of thirty-five college students from Syracuse University returning home to New York.
After a somber morning in the cemetery, we continued on the road towards our evening stop in Loch Lomond. In the countryside we saw something unusual, ginger sheep! We saw a lot of sheep on our UK trip, but this was the only time that we saw ginger ones.
And clearly, the saw us too!