Finally, after almost three years, someone stands accused of murdering 259 people in the skies above the rolling Scottish farmlands where sheep still graze.
And for the first time, Patricia Brunner of the Town of Boston can point with tangible evidence to two Libyan intelligence officials accused in the plot to kill her daughter, Colleen, and the others aboard Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988.
"It was very, very important," Ms. Brunner said of the two Libyans' indictments 10 days ago. "To me, it's the beginning, to know that they have indicted two people who murdered my daughter and 269 other people. It's a start."
That's how Ms. Brunner views the tragedy, her love for her daughter and the survivors' efforts to make flying safer and bring the guilty to justice.
Pan Am Flight 103 will never end for Patricia Brunner.
In less than three years, Ms. Brunner has returned to the village of Lockerbie, Scotland, four times. She vows to go every year.
"I told Colleen I would," Ms. Brunner said in a lengthy interview Friday, two days after returning from a meeting in Washington, D.C., of The Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. "When I went to Lockerbie for the memorial service, I told her I would return each year. I had to see where she died, and I had to find out what happened. That's the only place I have found a sense of peace.
"Something within me just draws me back there," she added. "I will never miss a year."
Each year, she walks up through the gorgeous Scottish countryside to the hill, Mount Hoolie, where her daughter died just two weeks before her 21st birthday.
Other bodies were found together. Colleen Brunner's body was alone, and she had free-fallen for many miles, according to investigators' findings.
Several days after the explosion, before Ms. Brunner headed to Lockerbie, her son Robert called from there.
"If I could pick the place where I'd want to die, it would be the hills of Scotland, with the sheep grazing everywhere," he told his mother.
"We'd like to think, knowing Colleen, that she picked out that spot," her mother said. "It's incredibly beautiful. From that spot, you can see the golf course and all the beautiful scenery in the hills of Scotland."
The violent death of her daughter, an innocent victim caught in a cross-fire of world terrorism, still carries haunting memories that won't go away.
"It hurts us so much that she died all by herself, and we couldn't say good-bye to her," she said.
But the constant communication she had with her daughter, a Hamburg High School graduate and an Oswego State College junior who was studying communications in London, brings only warm memories.
Thirteen days before she died, Colleen fulfilled a personal dream when she met Pope John Paul II and had her picture taken with him.
Ms. Brunner vividly recalled the conversation.
"Mom, you'll never have to worry about me again," she remembered her daughter saying. "I'm going to be safe. The pope reached out and held my hand for the longest time."
About a month before the explosion and crash, Colleen visited her ancestral roots in Dublin, Ireland, where she found a memorial verse that helped her make more sense of death.
"Death is nothing at all," the verse began. "I have only slipped away into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still . . . "
Ms. Brunner remains active in The Victims of Pan Am Flight 103.
"They're the only people who know what you're going through and what you're feeling inside," she said. "You could explain it to somebody else for weeks, and they wouldn't understand it. They haven't signed off on contaminated clothing (as we have). They haven't had to go through the property store, to identify their children's property."
The victims' group has lofty goals. Last Wednesday, it issued a statement calling for the responsible parties to be extradited, for Libya to be punished and for a U.S. State Department "white paper" to expose Syria's and Iran's terrorist ways.
"Our enormous personal pain and continuing grief have galvanized our efforts into a political thrust that is dedicated to eradicating state-sponsored terrorism as a political tool," the statement said in part.
Investigators said that a computer chip found in the bomb wreckage matched the configuration of electronic components of explosives seized in February 1988 from Libyan agents traveling in Senegal.
Investigators say the two Libyans used their positions with Libyan Arab Airlines to smuggle a suitcase containing a bomb aboard a plane in Malta. The suitcase was then transferred to Flight 103 in Frankfurt, Germany, according to investigators.
Bringing the guilty parties to justice and exerting political pressure on the countries involved won't bring back Colleen or end the lobbying.
"But maybe then we could move on a little bit," Ms. Brunner suggested.
She thinks it is important for her family, for all of Flight 103's families and for all Americans, to let other nations know that the United States won't tolerate terrorism and to make flying safer.
Ms. Brunner also talks proudly of the various scholarships in Colleen's name, of the two trees planted in her memory in Boston Town Park and of the chestnut tree planted on William Irving's farm in Lockerbie, where one of her suitcases was found.
"It will be a growing, living memorial to a beautiful girl he never met," Ms. Brunner said in quoting Irving.
A booklet prepared for the Colleen Brunner Memorial Scholarship Fund Dinner in 1989 shows a picture of her as a newborn baby, with the caption, "I will always remember the day you were born. You were so anxious to begin your life. You arrived four weeks early."
And departed many years too soon.