Heat Advisory

The Arlington area is under a heat advisory. Click "read more" for safety guidance and a map of water fountain locations. 

Published on: Sunday, June 16, 2024 read more ...

Pan Am Flight 103 Memorial (Lockerbie Memorial Cairn)


Section 1

The Lockerbie Memorial Cairn memorializes the 270 lives lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan American Airlines Flight 103 on December 21, 1988, over Lockerbie, Scotland. Consisting of 270 blocks of red Scottish sandstone, the cairn was a gift from the people of Scotland to the people of the United States, financed entirely through private donations. A cairn is a traditional Scottish monument honoring the dead. 

On December 21, 1988, Flight 103 was en route from Frankfurt, Germany to New York via London's Heathrow Airport. At 7:02 p.m., 27 minutes after leaving London, the plane exploded, raining fragments on the city of Lockerbie. Eleven of the 270 dead were on the ground. The 259 passengers and crew included citizens of 21 countries. Among them were 190 Americans, including 15 active duty military personnel and 10 veterans.

In 1993, Congress unanimously passed Senate Joint Resolution 129, designating Arlington National Cemetery as the site of the memorial cairn, and President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on November 24, 1993. On December 21, 1993, the fifth anniversary of the disaster, President Clinton delivered the keynote address at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The blocks of sandstone that comprise the cairn come from Corsehill Quarry near Annan, Scotland, about eight miles southeast of Lockerbie and below the flight path of Flight 103. Corsehill Quarry, operating since 1820, has provided stones for many buildings in the United States, most notably the base of the Statue of Liberty.

The following words are engraved on the cairn's base: "On 21 December 1988, a terrorist bomb destroyed Pan American Airlines Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board and 11 on the ground. The 270 Scottish stones which compose this memorial cairn commemorate those who lost their lives in this attack against America."

A bronze plaque on the side of the cairn reads, "In remembrance of the two hundred seventy people killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan American Airways Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland 21 December 1988. Presented by the Lockerbie Air Disaster Trust to the United States Of America."