Relatives of the people killed in the bombing of Flight 103 have banded together to push for a congressional investigation and tighter airport security.
"By us coming together, we're going to try to prevent this from happening to other families," said Bonnie O'Connor.O'Connor's brother, John Ahern, 26, of Rockville Center, N.Y., was aboard the Boeing 747 jumbo jet when it blew up Dec. 21 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 people on the ground.
Seventy-five to 100 relatives - many with photographs of lost loved ones pinned to their chests - attended a meeting Sunday in this city 10 miles west of New York City at a restaurant owned by a victim's relative. They formed the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 committee.
"If we don't organize ourselves in an effective way . . . it will be very difficult to go forward," said Paul Hudson, an attorney and former counsel to the New York State Crime Victims Compensation Board, who started the network of families. His daughter, Melina, 16, was on the flight.
"We've come to assist each other in our grief," Hudson said.
The committee will give support and aid to grieving relatives and lobby for a congressional investigation of the bombing, said Bill Ammerman, whose brother, Tom, died in the crash.
Some committee members already have met with their lawmakers, including U.S. Sens. Daniel Moynihan, D-N.Y., Al D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Bill Bradley, D-N.J.
Last week, officials announced that the terrorist's bomb that destroyed the Boeing 747 jumbo jet had been traced to a portable radio stored among the luggage.
Airline security procedures are "far less than what is required to give confidence in the security of the system," Hudson said.
The group will campaign for stronger security.