On 21 December, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland due to a bomb placed onboard which turned out to be of Libyan origin. The bomb had been placed in Frankfort, Germany, where the flight originated, but did not blow up until the plane had landed in London and then had departed for New York City. Everyone on the plane and eleven additional people on the ground died.
On 22 December, 1988, I flew from Stuttgart, Germany to Birmingham, England, to visit my (then) fiance and his parents for Christmas.
As I departed that morning, investigators were still combing through wreckage in Lockerbie, trying to determine what had happened to that flight. They suspected terrorism, but were not sure.
I was pretty scared. I self-talked into a state of relative calmness by saying that terrorists probably would not hit two Germany to England flights two days in a row. Or would they? It was all very confusing and frightening.
As I was in the air on my flight, a change came over me. The more I heard about the carnage on the ground in Scotland, the sicker I felt. There were no cell phones back then, so I had to await television and the newspapers on the ground, but it soon became apparent that body parts from people on that flight were spread over about a 20-mile square area in Scotland. I think some parts were never found.
I got a huge lump in my throat that lasted six months. I could not even think of eating meat without feeling a gag reflex start to happen. And so . . . I gave up meat for almost a year (Noel and I got married the following May and I may have eaten a small bit of meat at our rehearsal dinner–I think I never got food at the wedding reception at all as we were too busy talking to friends I had not seen in years).
That was my sole venture into vegetarianism and I would say I did not choose it, it chose me.
It worked pretty well, especially as I had hired a friend’s mom to cook for me in Germany those last few months that I was single. She did some tremendous vegetarian dishes.
Now, in my 50’s, I am toying with the idea of intentionally going vegetarian. It will be interesting to see how different it is now. I predict it will be much easier now to find fruits, veggies, and grains that work together well without meat.
Actually, it is kind of an exciting adventure now.
That was never the case when contemplating the immensity of the loss at Lockerbie. God help us!