Months after their daughter, Melina, was killed on Pan Am Flight 103, a notebook she carried was returned to Paul and Eleanor Hudson. A quote written in the back by the teenager read: "No one dies unless they're forgotten."
The Hudsons have spent much of the past year making sure that Melina and the 269 other people killed when the jumbo jet was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, last Dec. 21 are not forgotten.
The organization they started, Families of Pan Am 103-Lockerbie, takes up a room at Hudson's law offices. The room is filled with pieces of the couple's life this past year: letters to politicians, transcripts of congressional hearings, news clippings, lists of victims' families, newsletters, a sketch of Melina.
Melina's mother says she spends countless hours at the office. "I' m a teacher by profession, but this is my job. There's a duty here, " she said.
That duty-- to reveal the full story of the Flight 103 bombing-- has taken Hudson, a soft-spoken, well-to-do lawyer, to the halls of Congress, to Europe and to a private session with President Bush.
He still has questions.
Why wasn't the bombing of Flight 103 prevented? Why was his daughter, coming home for Christmas after a semester abroad in London, allowed to take a plane with a bomb on it?
"We thought, `What do we do now that she died? Do we pretend that she just died in a drowning?' " Eleanor Hudson said. "She was 16. She was coming home for Christmas . . . What kind of joke is this?"
She shows a picture of Melina on the front steps of their Albany townhouse: She is thin, her blonde hair is swept back and she is smiling coyly. "She was beautiful. How could we not do this?"
Days after the crash, Hudson took Melina's dental records to Lockerbie for her identification. The Hudsons' dentist told Eleanor Hudson, who remained in Albany, that another area family who lost a daughter in the crash, the Hartunians, was unable to get information from Scotland.
She spoke to them on Christmas Eve and realized that her husband could help.
"They just wanted to know whether their daughter was in a body bag or in a morgue," she said. "I said, `My husband is there; he can find out.' "
The Hudsons met more families at nine funerals and at a memorial service for the 36 Syracuse University students killed on the flight. They, too, were frustrated by the State Department's silence after the crash, Hudson said.
"It was clear to me by the end of January that unless there was some public outcry, and unless people formally organized, that the government was going to do nothing," he said.
On Feb. 19, the Families of Pan Am Flight 103-Lockerbie held its first meeting, in Hasbrouk Heights, N.J.
The organization is partially a support group. But Hudson, as chairman, has spearheaded government lobbying asking for an investigation of the bombing.
The group is pressing the government to tighten security for international flights. Hudson contends that if Pan Am had competent security, the bombing could have been avoided.
After extended pressure from families and congressmen, President Bush appointed a seven-member committee in August to investigate the crash and draft a report.
Hudson said that could be the definitive document explaining the disaster. It is tentatively due on May 1.