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Kathryn Turman, Office for Victims of Crime
"The level of compassion was extraordinary"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Lockerbie 'heroes' honoured
Frank Lautenberg, William Rae and Janet Reno
The award was presented in Washington DC
The people of Lockerbie and Scotland have been singled out for special praise at an awards ceremony in Washington DC.

Janet Reno, the US Attorney General, paid tribute to their role in the wake of the bombing which claimed 270 lives.

Dumfries and Galloway Council and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary were each given unique awards by the US government at a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

They were both chosen by Ms Reno for the Special Award for Extraordinary Response to International Terrorism following the explosion of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988.

Representatives from the Dumfries and Galloway area, including police chief constable Willie Rae, council chief executive Phil Jones, council convener Andrew Campbell and Lockerbie councillor Marjorie McQueen, were present at the ceremony in the Senate Caucus Room.

Janet Reno and Andrew Campbell
Andrew Campbell receives the award from Janet Reno
Ms Reno said: "Today recognises a special bond between the USA and Scotland. That special bond has grown as a result of the tragedy of Pan Am 103.

"We are here to recognise the kindness and wonderful hospitality of the people of Lockerbie and Scotland. So many people opened their hearts and homes.

"The town of Lockerbie and the region of Dumfries and Galloway will always be remembered as examples of the highest spirit of human kindness."

Presidential approval

Mr Jones, Mr Campbell and Mrs McQueen accepted a brass plaque on a wooden mount on behalf of the local authority while Mr Rae and Detective Chief Inspector Tom McCulloch accepted a similar award on behalf of the police.

The awards are the highest honour bestowed by the Office for Victims of Crime which is part of the US Department of Justice.

Approved by the President, they are given to individuals and organisations whose work on behalf of victims is characterised by exceptional commitment and courage.

After the disaster, many women in Lockerbie spent months working to return victims' belongings to their families.

'High praise'

Deputy Scottish justice minister Angus MacKay, who also attended the ceremony during a visit to the US, said: "This is a very significant award.

"It recognises the dedication and sensitivity of the police and council in the aftermath of Lockerbie - not just the quality of care in the weeks immediately after the tragedy but the ongoing level of support for the families as well.

"It's high praise that this is the first international award and more so when you consider the award was nominated by the families of the victims themselves.

"But the award is not really simply for the police and the council - it's for everyone who gave their help when there was a need. There's a whole network of people across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond who can be rightly proud of their efforts."

Senator Frank Lautenberg, who has acted as a representative for relatives of victims, was also present at the ceremony.

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See also:

18 Apr 00 | Lockerbie Trial
Doors open on Lockerbie court
29 Oct 99 | Lockerbie Trial
Lockerbie charges in full
24 Feb 00 | Lockerbie Trial
Lord Advocate's Lockerbie pledge
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