Among those killed by the explosion and crash of the plane were 35 students from Syracuse University, four from Colgate University, and two from SUNY Oswego - all colleges in upstate New York within a couple of hours drive from Ithaca, where I live.
The mother of one of the victims from Syracuse, responded to the release in this way:
Janine Boulanger, the Shrewsbury mother of Nicole Elise Boulanger, a 21-year-old student who was killed in the bombing, said she was disappointed but not surprised.The mother of another one of the Syracuse University student victims said:
She said her daughter, who was a musical theater major at Syracuse University, had been studying on scholarship in London. She was coming home after completing all of her requirements in seven semesters when she was killed, her mother said.
“These individuals died in foreign countries, without their families there, and we, as it was, had to accept this very low sentence,” she said.
“And now, not to carry it out?” she said. “You soon lose faith.”
But Susan Cohen, whose only child Theodora, 20, was one of 35 Syracuse University students on Pan Am flight 103, said any suggestion of freedom on compassionate grounds was "vile".The father of one of the students from Colgate University said on hearing of the news of the release:
Speaking from her home in New Jersey, she added: "It just shows that the power of oil money counts for more than justice. There have been so many attempts to let him off. It has to do with money and power and giving Gaddafi what he wants. My feelings, as a victim, apparently count for nothing."
A former Macungie man who lost his 21-year-old son in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 called the release of the only man convicted in the attack ''perverted justice.''....So much for "reconciliation" with Libya. Michael Totten's reporting from Libya gives the information we need to know about "The Land of the Brother Leader". See his article about the Megrahi release also - Qaddafi Can Celebrate His Filthy Regime Without Us.
Scott Saunders, a dean's list senior at Colgate University, was returning home from studying in London when a bomb destroyed the plane in the air, killing all 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents of the small Scottish town of Lockerbie. Many of the 189 Americans on board the flight were college students wrapping up studies in Europe....
''This dominated the morning news, and it's a searing pain, I can tell you, to have to relive this, to have to see someone who has been found guilty of the crime is going to be liberated,'' Saunders said. ''But nothing in this thing surprises me anymore. I'm not surprised. I'm certainly discouraged. It isn't the first searing pain and it will not be the last.''
Scott, a 1985 Emmaus High School graduate, was majoring in English and history and had planned to enter law school or become a journalist.
The victims' families received multimillion-dollar settlements from Libya, which the elder Saunders has called ''blood money.'' He donated some of it, set aside some for his other son, Greg, and used more to augment scholarship funds in Scott's memory.
Saunders said some victims' families believe other nations -- perhaps Iran or Syria -- were behind the bombing and that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi only took responsibility in an effort to rehabilitate his reputation in the West.
Saunders doesn't subscribe to that theory but he is certain the truth behind the bombing hasn't fully emerged, and may not for many years. He is also sure that the West's oil interests in Libya were likely the deciding factor in releasing al-Megrahi, an intelligence official.