Exploring the Lasting Effects of Terrorism

Montauk is privileged to be the home of a sculpture garden which is a memorial to all those who lost their lives to terrorism. The sculpture garden “Dark Elegy” depicts emotional reactions of surviving family members, dealing with their first hand experiences of loss as a result of terrorism. Suse and Peter Lowenstein tragically lost their son Alexander, a student at Syracuse University, on December 21, 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103, from London to NY went down over Lockerbie, Scotland in an act of terrorism. Dark Elegy is a product of Suse Lowenstein’s artistic grievance therapy during the months and years following their loss. Starting with herself, she created a larger than life self-sculpture of the moment she heard the news of her son’s death. Wanting to expand the project to include as many family members as possible, she extended an invitation to all family members of the victims of Flight 103;  about eighty mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and grandmothers  accepted the invitation to pose.

This Documentary – SEAT 20D – explores the emotions and reality of the Lowensteins and other families dealing with the reality of the loss of their loved ones. It’s beautifully filmed, honoring the victims while showing the strength of the families who have had to go on living their daily lives under the weight of their loss. It also focuses on a Syracuse University program that memorializes the members of their school who lost their lives; real people dealing with real grief and remembrance.

Available on Prime Video, this film is something that should be viewed. It’s heartwarming, emotional, thoughtful and enlightening. Many thanks to Suse and her son Lucas, as well at the other families who shared their experiences to help viewers understand the depth and long-lasting effects of terrorism.

After years of searching for a permanent home for the sculptures, Suse has been disheartened by the rejections and the multitude of excuses given. This exhibit would be a wonderful addition to any city, park, university, museum, or town looking to honor all victims of terrorism and their families. Although Suse hoped to share her work on a larger scale, we are fortunate to have this garden in our community.

If you visit her garden at 11 East Lake Dr., Montauk, which remains open daily from 10am-12pm – you will view the larger than life figures of women in poses as unique as their reactions to their individual loss.  If you get a chance to speak with Mrs. Lowenstein she can tell stories of the people represented by each sculpture in the garden. It’s not just an amazing work of art and memorial to that one flight, but it depicts raw emotions shared by all surviving member of any act of terrorism.

If you haven’t already visited the sculpture garden, I recommend seeing the documentary first to have a total appreciation of the memorial.

SEAT 20D – on Prime Video
Starring – Suse Lowenstein, Lucas Lowenstein, Eileen Monetti
Supporting actors – Robert Monetti, Aphrodite Tsaris, Peter Lowenstein
Director – Jill Campbell                     Studio – First Run Features