As 25th Anniversary Of Lockerbie Bombing Approaches, NJ Victim’s Sister Remembers
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By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing has victims’ families thinking about the past.
“I think about the things we did the fun times we had,” said Kara Weipz. Weipz holds onto the memories of her big brother – Rick Monetti.
Rick was on board Pan Am flight 103 – which was brought down by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The flight left Heathrow Airport in London and was heading to JFK in New York.
Kara was 15-years-old when she saw it on TV.
“A special report came in and I was about to change the channel,” she said.
She learned Rick – along with 258 others on the plane and 11 people on the ground – were killed when the plane exploded.
Rick was a student at Syracuse University – but he was studying abroad.
The semester came to an end as the 20-year-old was returning with 34 other students – in time for the holidays.
“They were living their lives and that’s all you really can do. My brother had a quote, ‘Do all you can while you can. Life is a one-time deal,’” she said.
Rick attended Cherry Hill High School East.
When he graduated, he was considering a career in journalism.
He won an award with KYW News Radio – that award is now a scholarship in his name.
“That news studies program was one of the best experiences he had. He loved his time there,” Weipz explained.
Kara named her oldest son after her brother – as a tribute.
The family will drive Washington to visit the Lockerbie Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday.
Kara will be leading a prayer with other families who lost loved ones in the bombing.
“It is comforting to have that support group because people know what you are going through,” she said.
Only one Libyan national has been convicted of the attack – but Kara believes more people are responsible.
“The truth must be known and the truth isn’t all known,” she said.
The family has been pushing lawmakers for stricter air travel laws – to prevent another terrorist attack in the skies.
“So many things have changed because of what happened on Pan Am 103 and I just hope we learn those lessons so they don’t repeat,” Weipz said.