Flight Bombing Victim's Wife Reflects After Newtown Shooting

Montville woman affected has heavy heart for victims of Sandy Hook School massacre.

As the nation reflects on the Sandy Hook School shooting one week after the incident, the wife of a Montville victim of the Pan Am Flight 103 terrorist bombing said the shooting has invoked similar emotions as to those after the event that took her husband.

“Twenty years later, our hearts are still heavy with loss, but the terrorists could not rob us of the love that remains in our hearts for our loved ones that we still hold so dear,” Wendy Sefcik said. “In the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., our nation is once again brought to its knees from an indescribable horror, but with love and kindness families can move forward."

On Dec. 1, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky by a terrorist bomb, killing all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland. Among those onboard were 35 college students returning home from a semester abroad and two individuals from Montville, J.P. Flynn and William Giebler Jr. Flynn was survived by his parents, Jack and Kathleen. Sefcik was survived by his wife, Wendy.

The families affected by the tragedy came together lobbying for better airline and airport security and to support one another. Their efforts showed many positive results, including legislation passed and policy changed.

Sefcik said she has hope for the families of Newtown that they can someday find comfort in the support from others across the nation.

"They will never forget, just as we have never forgotten," she said. "Their shattering loss will be part of the core of their being, but hopefully they will gather strength from the love and support surrounding them worldwide, and eventually find peace in their hearts.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Giebler's last name.

Louise December 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The man's name was Giebler, not Sefcik.
Ellen Oxild December 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Wendy Sefcik lost two family members — her first husband in 1988, and her son, T.J., on December 1, 2010. We all mourned T.J. when he lost his life to suicide at age 16, and none of us could imagine the grief a parent must face from such a tragedy. And it happens again and again. But by sharing her story, Wendy gave us the opportunity to learn, ask questions, support each other, and find a way to move forward. Wendy's strength, love, and amazing spirit make her a true survivor and an inspiration to us all. Thanks, Wendy, for showing us there is something good beyond the horizon. —Ellen


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