I am the mother of Miriam Luby Wolfe, who died aboard Pan Am Flight 103. She was one of 35 Syracuse University students returning home after a semester of study in London. Miriam was 20 and my only child.

Therefore I was distressed by your article "The Two Tragedies of Pan Am Flight 103" {Style, Aug. 30}. The article did touch on the accomplishments of the family groups, but it focused on the conflicts among the families. You might consider such a focus news; I considered it inappropriate gossip. Emphasizing the conflicts belittled the pain and despair suffered by 259 families (and the Scottish families of the 11 Lockerbie residents) whose loved ones were murdered by a terrorist act.

Dissension eventually afflicts many organized groups of survivors (as the reporter noted), because they are diverse human beings brought together solely by tragic events. However, to focus on such dissension was misleading and might even have adversely affected current and future legislation to improve airline security and prevent future acts of airline terrorism.

As a longtime reader of your paper, I am grateful that you are keeping the tragedy of Pan Am Flight 103 alive in readers' minds. I am also grateful for the thousands of words you have written detailing the facts about Flight 103. My appeal is this:

Why take a gossipy tack? Why not use your power and influence to press the Bush administration to find and punish the party responsible for this hideous crime? Why haven't you attacked the administration for its lack of a strong foreign policy that would prevent terrorist acts against American citizens?

Your editorial {May 7} on the report of the President's Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism was bland and noncommittal. You said, "Its conclusions are many and strong -- and beg for high-level attention, though not, we think, total ratification."

Where is your sense of moral outrage? Where is your investigative passion?

Why aren't you demanding that the culprits be found and punished for the bombing of Flight 103? Why aren't you critical of the administration's rapprochement with both Iran and Syria, which harbor terrorists?

The bill up for a vote in Congress is the Aviation Security Act of 1990 -- the result of many Pan Am Flight 103 families' efforts. Why aren't you analyzing its strengths and weaknesses as critical legislation?

Nothing I can say or do will bring back my wonderful daughter. But a stronger editorial stand by you -- as a voice of conscience against the evil in this world -- might play a part in preventing future terrorist crimes. -- Rosemary Mild