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Clinton Dedicates Memorial to Pan Am Crash Victims : Ceremony: President vows that the U.S. won't rest until those responsible for the tragedy are brought to justice.

November 05, 1995| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Clinton on Friday honored the 270 victims who perished in the Pan Am jetliner bombing over Scotland seven years ago, vowing the United States will not rest until the terrorists responsible for the attack are brought to justice.

Clinton spoke at Arlington National Cemetery at the dedication of a monument to the 259 people on board the plane and the 11 people killed on the ground when the wreckage fell on Lockerbie, Scotland, Dec. 21, 1988.

The name of each victim is inscribed on the monument--a memorial cairn--a traditional Scottish monument made from pink sandstone cut from a Scottish quarry. Rain fell throughout the ceremony.

"This cairn reminds us we must never, never relax our efforts until the criminals are brought to justice," Clinton said.

"Let us take this cairn as the sign of our bond with the victims of Pan Am 103, to remember the light they brought into so many lives, to work to bring justice down on those who committed the murders, to keep our own people safe and to rid the world of terrorism and never to forget until this job is done," he said.

George Williams, president of an organization representing the victims, called for Clinton and Congress to impose a naval blockade on Libyan oil sales until Libya surrenders two suspects in the case.

Relatives of some victims boycotted the ceremony.

Marina De Larrakotexea objected to the inclusion of the name of her late sister, Maria Nieves, on the memorial. But she said her family was told they have no legal way to prevent it.

"I am afraid that the world will consider the dedication of this memorial as the final word on the subject," she told a news conference Thursday.

"To me and my family, this is nothing but a cover-up of the murder of my sister and hundreds of others."

De Larrakotexea accused Clinton of "giving lip service" to U.S.-British investigations that blamed the bombing on two agents of Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi, while ignoring alleged Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian connections.

Those alleged connections were covered up, De Larrakotexea contended, to promote the anti-Iraq coalition in the Persian Gulf War and later, the Arab-Israeli peace process.

Libya has been under international air, arms and diplomatic sanctions imposed by the United Nations since April 15, 1992. The aim is to force Kadafi to surrender the Libyans for trial in the United States or Britain. Kadafi's best offer has been to turn them over to the World Court in The Hague for trial by Scottish judges.

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