Joan McAlpine MSP has welcomed news that First Minister Alex Salmond will attend a ceremony at Dryfesdale Cemetery to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing.

Ms McAlpine said:

“I welcome news that Alex Salmond will come to Lockerbie this weekend.

“The service at Dryfesdale church is one of a series of commemorations scheduled to take place across the UK and the United States in the coming days and I think It is right that the First Minister of Scotland has chosen to pay his respects in Lockerbie in a show of solidarity with the community here during what will be a difficult time.”

A service at Westminster Abbey will be held at the same time as commemorations in America and will be attended by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

This week Ms McAlpine used her column in the Daily Record to pay tribute to Lockerbie and highlight the many good things happening in the town.

She said:

“It is vital that we take time to grieve for the victims of the bombing and show solidarity with their families this weekend.

“ But we should also remember the many good things happening in Lockerbie – from the local Ice rink that has produced world class curlers, the community run Eskrigg Nature Reserve, to the annual Jazz Festival which attracts some of the biggest names in the business. The community is not defined solely by the evil that was visited upon it on 21st December 1988.

“That is why I wanted to highlight the inspirational spirit of the people of Lockerbie along with the many positive reasons it should be recognised and praised as a vibrant community.”

Ms McAlpine has been supporting with the Lockerbie Swimming Pool Trust which still hopes that a positive legacy will come from the disaster fund.

She said:

“impressive plans have been commissioned, hopefully grants will awarded and we will see the completion of this project after 25 years  – Lockerbie deserves nothing less.”