Former Bromsgrove doctor remembers daughter at Lockerbie memorial

Bromsgrove Advertiser: MEMORIAL: Former Bromsgrove doctor Jim Swire has spoken at a memorial event marking the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing. Ref:s MEMORIAL: Former Bromsgrove doctor Jim Swire has spoken at a memorial event marking the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing. Ref:s

A FORMER Bromsgrove doctor, whose daughter died in the Lockerbie bombing, called on people to pray for the family of the only man convicted of the attack on the 25th anniversary.

Dr Jim Swire, formerly of Pikes Pool Lane and whose daughter Flora was among the 270 victims killed in the atrocity, has spent more than two decades attempting to uncover the truth.

His 23-year-old daughter, a medical student, was on board the Pan Am flight which terrorists blew up above the Scottish town on the evening of December 21, 1988.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Dr Swire, who now lives in Chipping Campden, became the most prominent spokesman for British families affected by the attack, speaking on behalf of the UK Families Flight 103 Group.

Dr Swire, who also wrote a book called For Flora, has always argued Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was used as a scapegoat and that Libya was a side issue; suspecting Iranian involvement.

Megrahi was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and after being controversially released for compassionate reasons, he died in Tripoli in May 2012.

A petition by pressure group Justice For Megrahi is currently inching through the Scottish Parliament, which calls on the Government to open an inquiry into the conviction.

To mark the 25th anniversary, victims were remembered at memorial events held in southern Scotland, at Westminster Abbey in London and at Arlington National Cemetery in the United States - where most of those killed were from.

The former partner at Churchfields Surgery attended the Westminster Abbey service, at which he spoke.

He described his daughter as "our beautiful, vivacious first-born of three wonderful children," and said the bombing was a revenge attack.

He said: ''When I first met the late Abdelbaset al-Megrahi face to face in Greenock prison, though he was a practising Muslim, he had bought me a Christmas card in the prison shop; in it he had written 'Dr Swire and family, please pray for me and my family'.

''He died my friend.

''Over Christmas, if you pray, please pray for his innocent family, but also for all those who wrestle with hatred, that they may be healed by God's love."

The Westminster service also included prayers read by members of UK Families Flight 103, which has campaigned for an independent inquiry, and by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Lorna Hood.

Silences were held at all the services at 7pm to coincide with the moment the bomb exploded.

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