Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chris Stevens - American Libyan Martyr

     Chris Stevens pays his respects to the sailors who died fighting Barbary Pirates in Tripoli in 1804

My Recent Letter to Ambassador Stevens, which I sent to him along with a copy of my book "300 Years at the Point - A History of Somers Point, NJ" which includes a chapter on Lt. Richard Somers - who is buried in Tripoli in one of these graves.

US Ambassador Chris Stevens
US Embassy Tripoli, Libya

William E. Kelly, Jr.
20 Columbine Ave.
Browns Mills, NJ 08015
(609) 425-6297

September, 2012

Dear Ambassador Stevens

First let me thank you for your service to our country during the Libyan revolution, and congratulate you on your well deserved appointment as Ambassador.

I also wish you well in the even more difficult task of guiding American interests and policy while a new society and government are established.

My interests in Libya began while researching and writing this book – “300 Years at the Point – A History of Somers Point, New Jersey – which includes a chapter on Master Commandant Richard Somers, USN, who gave his life in the service of his country while leading the Intrepid expedition into Tripoli harbor. He is currently buried on the Shores of Tripoli, possibly among the remains at the historic Old Protestant Cemetery.

The Somers family, led by his sister Sarah and continuing into the present generation, has always sought the return of his remains, a request that has been joined by many of the citizens of Somers Point and the State of New Jersey, as well as the family of Somers’ second officer, Lt. Henry Wadsworth, uncle of Longfellow.

As you know, the 2012 Defense Authorization act requires the military to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of repatriating the remains of these men, when all we ask is that they be treated like any other American killed in action on foreign soil, and if they can be identified, to submit to the will of the family as to where they should be buried.

Whatever is the outcome of this matter, I would like you to consider visiting Somers Point, N. J. sometime. As you will see if you peruse my book, Somers Point, is a small, historic American port town with direct and continuing ties to Tripoli, whose native son is buried there, and so could be an appropriate place for you to give a report on the revolution and the current situation in Libya.

Thanks for your time and interest in these matters,

William E. Kelly

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