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Deputy Attorney General Rod. J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at the Pan AM 103 Remembrance Ceremony


Washington, DC
United States

Thank you, Kathy (Tedeschi). And Melanie (Daniels), I know your father would be very proud of you today.

I am honored to join you to remember the innocent victims who were taken from us in an act of terror thirty years ago. 

We come together today not merely to mourn what was lost, but also to express our resolve about two issues. First, that everyone responsible for the horrific terrorist act in the skies over Lockerbie will be held accountable, no matter how long it takes.  And second, that American law enforcement will continue to work tirelessly to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Chris Wray spoke yesterday at a ceremony to dedicate a plaque at FBI Headquarters. They emphasized that the Department of Justice is unwavering in its commitment to bring terrorists to justice.  Our prosecutors and investigators, working in coordination with Scottish authorities, continue to work to ensure justice on behalf of the victims and their families.

Almost all of the officials leading our efforts today were not in law enforcement when the attack occurred in 1988, but we are as committed today as ever before.

And we are proud to be part of the international law enforcement effort that began in the aftermath of the tragedy.  It serves as a model for 21st Century law enforcement.

I want to thank Scottish Solicitor General Allison di Rollo and Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne for your thoughtful remarks at the FBI ceremony yesterday. Our thanks also go to the many other Scots who have participated in this endeavor. We admire your tremendous dedication and value our strong partnership. 

To the many current and former federal prosecutors and investigators who have worked on this case over the past thirty years, you are an inspiration to all of your colleagues and successors. 

The plaque dedicated at the FBI yesterday recognizes not only the victims, but also the investigators. Future generations of Special Agents who enter FBI Headquarters will read the plaque. It will help motivate them to pursue the cause of justice with the same vigor you demonstrated. And it will remind them to remain vigilant. When it comes to advancing and defending the cause of liberty, there can be no doubt that eternal vigilance is the constant price.

Yesterday, family members heard from prosecutors and agents now working on the case that our joint investigation with the Scots remains active.  We exchange information regularly throughout each year.  We continue to pursue leads.  And we will not stop until we are certain that everyone accountable is either in prison, or no longer living. Our quest for justice will never wane.

To the many family members who are with us today: we are inspired by your passion for truth and justice. We are grateful for your support. We will never relent. We will not let you down.

The voices of the Pam Am 103 victims were stilled by the terrorist attack, but their hearts and souls live on through your memories and your voices.

Many of your loved ones were taken in their youth, others in the prime of their lives. As we stand together 30 years later, the words of William Wordsworth are particularly appropriate:

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.

As you continue to grieve, my colleagues at the Department of Justice wish you strength. We pray that you will find wisdom, peace, opportunities for joy, and the comfort of knowing that you have our unwavering support, and that your support continues to make a difference.   

As a result of your diligence and persistence, there will be fewer victims, and fewer memorial services in the future. That is the true legacy of Lockerbie. Thank you.

Updated December 21, 2018