Peace events will mark 30 years since Lockerbie bombing

A rider on a white horse will join young people, parents and grandparents and others, carrying the flags of the nations which lost people in the Lockerbie bombing for a 30th anniversary Walk for Peace.

The hill walk is one of three linked Journey Towards Peace events that focus on hope, kindness and the need to end conflict.

The Walk for Peace will include residents, farmers, those who helped during and after the tragedy, friends of Lockerbie and Tundergarth, members of the emergency services and peacemakers of all kinds.

They will be joined by religious leaders, such as the former Moderator of the Church of Scotland Reverend Alan D McDonald, along with Catholic priests, Buddhist monks and Japanese spiritual teachers.

Lockerbie became known internationally in 1988 when a bomb hidden on Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the Dumfriesshire town on 21 December, killing all 243 passengers, 16 crew, and 11 people on the ground.

Krystal Anderson, one of the area’s finest horsewomen, will meet the group at the summit of Burnswark, after riding from Tundergarth carrying the Lockerbie Standard.

Krystal, who represented the town during the 2018 annual Lockerbie Riding of the Marches and other events, comes from one of the many local families that helped in the aftermath of the bombing.

She said: ‘So many people were affected by the bombing, but the community really showed how strong it is, and everybody rallied round. Ever since then people from this area have been working for peace.

‘I see the ride as being a way to help spread that message of peace.’

Jan Hogarth, environmental artist working with others on the events, said: ‘By carrying the Lockerbie Standard on a white horse from Tundergarth to the atmospheric local landmark ofBurnswark, Krystal will symbolise the love and compassion with which these communities responded to a tragedy that affected so many families and countries.

‘In the decades since the bombing the people of this area have shown people kindness and compassion.

‘These events build on that positive process, bringing together people of all generations and of many backgrounds and beliefs with the common goal of spreading a message of peace and hope on earth.

‘We would warmly welcome members of the public to come along to the Pilgrimage for Peace service at Tundergarth and join us the following day for a Walk for Peace.’

The walk will be led by Professor David Munro, geographer in residence at Drumlanrig Castle, who said: ‘In our more troubled times the landscape has a capacity to embrace us and reach into our inner souls, helping us to make sense of the world we live in. It nourishes our hearts and minds, offering us a genuine hope of peace.’

The Journey Towards Peace events are:

A Wish for Peace, 20 December: Pupils at Lockerbie School will celebrate peace and diversity in a World Peace Flag Ceremony featuring the flags of all nations and the Earth Flag. Media wishing to attend should contact Glenda Thornton or Jessica Wheeler at Allanton World Peace Sanctuary on 01387 740642.

Pilgrimage for Peace, 21 December: A religious service at Tundergarth Church led by Rev. McDonald and featuring music by the internationally renowned harpist Wendy Stewart. For full details contact Roy Macgregor at Tundergarth on 07850250806.

Walk for Peace, 22 December: Walkers will carry flags to the top of Burnswark – an ancient hillfort overlooking Lockerbie and its surrounding landscape.

Reverend McDonald said: ‘Many people from different religious traditions value the concept of pilgrimage. This service will be an opportunity for people to prepare for a pilgrimage into peace.’

Journey Towards Peace involves a collaboration between artists, Allanton World Peace Sanctuary, Tundergarth Church and Lockerbie Riding of the Marches.

Caroline Uchima, director of the Allanton World Peace Sanctuary, said: ‘The people of Lockerbie have already demonstrated their warm, gracious and sensitive hospitality in a time of great crisis.With these healing and commemorative events, they are again setting an example to the world, that communities can move forward positively, and actively make a statement that peace on Earth is our biggest priority at this moment in time.May peace prevail on Earth.’

Wish for Peace and the Walk for Peace are being filmed by artists as part of the Journey Towards Peace environmental arts project. This aims to express the participants’ hopes for peace in the world.