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University Pays Tribute To Crash Victims With Day Of Memorial Services

January 18, 1989

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) _ Bearing sorrow and anger, relatives of Syracuse University students killed in the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 today urged people to press for changes that would prevent a similar tragedy.

More than a dozen family members talked about the Dec. 21 disaster at a news conference held hours before a memorial service was held at the Carrier Dome.

″Grief is horrible ... every once in a while you look at that bottle of sleeping pills ... and say ’Hey, why not take the whole thing and knock it off permanently,‴ said Daniel Cohen, of Port Jervis, N.Y.

Cohen and his wife, Susan, lost their only child, Theodora, a drama major who was returning from a semester studying in London along with 34 other students enrolled in the Syracuse program. The plane crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 aboard and 11 residents of the village.

Some family members talked of anger toward the airline, the U.S. government and the terrorists.

″They’re pigs. And if we find out who they are, they really should not be living,″ Peter Lowenstein, of Morristown, N.J., said of those who planted the bomb.

Lowenstein, his wife, Susan, lost their son, Alexander, in the crash. Their other son, Lucas, a Syracuse junior, was also at the news conference.

Others called for more security in the airline industry.

″I’d like to challenge, and at the same time plead with soon-to-be President Bush and other leaders of our government to take action soon to prevent any further acts of this type,″ said Robert Berrell, of Fargo, N.D., whose son, Steven, died in the crash.

At noon, as many as 25,000 people filled the Carrier Dome for a mass memorial service.

″The need for mourning the loss of loved ones is present always, but especially after a massive tragedy such as this one,″ said Richard L. Phillips, dean of the university’s Hendricks Chapel.

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