SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Nearly 30 years ago, Pan Am Flight 103 was victim to a terrorist bombing. 259 passengers and crew members as well as 11 residents in the town lost their lives…35 of those being Syracuse University students. Today, four emergency service cyclists and the Head Teacher of Lockerbie Academy honored the lives lost in the tragic incident as they completed a long journey from home.
Bagpipes began and the five cyclists made their way down the promenade, dozens of people waiting to celebrate their journey. These five cyclists set out to complete a journey that was never finished, representing the 3,238 mile distance from Syracuse University to Lockerbie, Scotland.
Oliver Mundell, Member of the Scottish Parliament, recognized the efforts of Cycle to Syracuse.
“In no small way you have made sure that the victims of Pan Am 103 have been forgotten,” said Mundell. “And our community in Lockerbie has not been destroyed by fear. For all you have done, for all you represent…from Lockerbie, for Lockerbie…on behalf of our grateful community at home…all I can say from the bottom of my heart is a massive thank you and well done.,” continued Mundell.
For one remembrance scholar, her interest began four years ago when she realized the similarities between herself and one victim. Today, Abigail Neuviller represents that same victim, Thomas Britton Schultz.
“Thomas is someone who’s very passionate about democracy, who had similar interests as me,” said Neuviller. “Who loved being outside, was a camp counselor…all of these sort of similar things… I became really intrigued in the program and each of the individual Syracuse’s 35,” remembered Neuviller.
That included reaching out to Schultz’s parents to learn all she could. Neuviller wrote a letter to his parents but unfortunately, she didn’t receive a response. Neuviller explained that the tragic event produced very different reactions for Shultz’s parents.
Instead, Neuviller turned to a 2015 scholar who was the last scholar to communicate with his parents, where she learned much more about Shultz.
“I learned little funny things,” recalled Neuviller. “Like for example, Jane, Thomas’ mother never knew how much food to prepare for whenever his friends came back after a night out because he would always have so many people over,” said Neuviller.
Thomas Britton Schultz is just one of 35 victims remembered today.