TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger paid tribute to the families of those who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in remarks at a remembrance ceremony on the 27th anniversary of the mid-air explosion. Neffenger credited the families for many of the improvements in aviation security since the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing that killed 270 people. He said the men and women of TSA have “a sacred bond” with the families and victims of the attack and are committed “body and soul” to strengthening aviation security.
Neffenger was one of the featured speakers at the remembrance ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery at the Lockerbie Cairn, a Scottish sandstone monument commemorating the lives lost in the bombing. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director Jim Comey, and White House Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, also spoke of the tragedy and the watershed moment in the evolution of global security that it represented.
Neffenger said the families of those who were lost had “shown the strength and purpose that can arise from tragedy” by organizing – not only to seek justice for their loved ones but also to demand greater security for all travelers. He credited a number of security improvements to their efforts, including better explosives detection systems, greater emphasis on coordinated and shared intelligence, and the creation of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, a crucial part of aviation security for more than a quarter of a century.
“Because of you, we know that every day we have to evolve faster than the threat,” he said. “Because of you, we will never rest.”