The cy­cle chal­lenge is com­plete

Team at fi­nal des­ti­na­tion

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - BOMB VICTIMS HONOURED - Sharon Lip­trott

A trans-At­lantic cy­cle chal­lenge to mark the 30th an­niver­sary of the Locker­bie bomb­ing has raised al­most £12,000 so far.

Brian Asher, Colin Dor­rance, Paul Rae, David Walpole and David Whal­ley – rep­re­sent­ing the emer­gency ser­vices and Locker­bie Acad­emy – com­pleted their mis­sion at the week­end.

Over recent months they have cov­ered the 3,328 miles from Locker­bie to New York which the pas­sen­gers never got the chance to com­plete be­cause of the atroc­ity which claimed 270 lives.

The epic cy­cle is also rais­ing money for the Dumfries youth men­tal health char­ity Soul Soup, to em­ploy a worker in Locker­bie Acad­emy.

And it has given fam­i­lies of those who died the chance to meet some of the peo­ple who helped in the af­ter­math of the bomb­ing – many talk­ing about the events for the first time.

The cy­clists’ 672-mile jour­ney from the Locker­bie me­mo­rial cairn in Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery, near Wash­ing­ton, was to Syra­cuse Univer­sity which lost 35 stu­dents in the dis­as­ter.

On Fri­day they rep­re­sented the town at a ser­vice where a bell was rung for all those who per­ished and roses laid for each one.

They handed over a shep­herd’s crook, crafted from wood found in the The cy­clists at the Locker­bie me­mo­rial cairn in Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery

Tun­der­garth area where Pan Am Flight 103’s nose cone crashed when the plane was blown out of the skies on De­cem­ber 21, 1988.

A book of com­mem­o­ra­tion was also pre­sented to the chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent of the univer­sity as gifts from the town, mark­ing the strong links forged be­tween the two.

The chal­lenge also marked the end of an era for cy­cle team leader Colin Dor­rance who, at 18, was Scot­land’s youngest po­lice of­fi­cer at the time of the dis­as­ter.

He has now re­tired but the Chief Con­sta­ble gave him spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion to wear his uni­form one last time at Syra­cuse. He has now do­nated his uni­form and medals to the Pan Am 103

archive at Syra­cuse.

The cy­cling team said: “Through the event, peo­ple have talked about their mem­o­ries and their feel­ings. For some, they have done so for the first time in 30 years.

“It has been hum­bling to re­ceive not just mes­sages of good­will but also the ac­counts of how peo­ple strug­gled in the af­ter­math and re­coiled at the in­jus­tice of what hap­pened.

“For oth­ers, it’s not yet time to talk and there are those who have made a pact with them­selves to live as peace­fully as they can with the past and to fo­cus on a bet­ter fu­ture.”

Peo­ple can still do­nate at: https://www.just­giv­ing. com/fundrais­ing/cy­cle-toSyra­cuse. Re­tired sergeant Colin Dor­rance with the Syra­cuse Univer­sity mas­cot

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