Haddonfield Tree Lighting Friday with Very Special Meaning
The Maslowski family donates Christmas tree for a loved one who died in the Pan Am 103 bombing.
There will be a very special Haddonfield tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, Nov. 25, at library point.
Diane Maslowski, who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988, will be remembered by family and friends as the holiday season is officially welcomed to Haddonfield. Her family donated a the 25-foot spruce tree this year now planted at Library Point, at Haddon Avenue and Tanner Street.
The Maslowski family, longtime borough residents and owners of Jay West Bridal shop, also dedicated a plaque at the base of the tree and paid to light it with more than 2,000 bulbs in Diane's honor.
Diane was a 1976 graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School. Sue Maslowski, Diane's sister, was waiting in New York City for her to arrive from London on Dec. 21, 1988, when 270 passengers, crew and people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland died when the jumbo plane went down.
She got a call from a friend telling her about the bombing and has been so overcome by grief that she avoided speaking publicly about it, until recently.
"I was in Grand Central Station one day and I had a 'Pam Am 103, the Spirit Lives' button on and I got bombarded by reporters," she said during a 9/11 remembrance in September at the high school. "I just couldn't talk about it, so I didn't."
Earlier this week, she spoke again.
"It’s nice to have something this wonderful come out of something that was so horrible,” she told the Haddonfield Sun this week about the tree ceremony. "When I saw what was planned I got a tear in my eye. I said to myself, ‘Diane you really would have loved this tree.’ She always came home to Haddonfield for Christmas, this was her home."
Her 5-year-old nephew, Caden, will have the honor of pushing the button to light the tree. Her parents, Stan and Norma Maslowski, will also be on hand. A holiday parade into the center of town will follow, with the high school marching band and Santa on the back of a convertible.