In Memoriam of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and the Foreign Service officers
During our nation’s commemoration of the 11th anniversary of 9/11, our country lost four heroes, one of which was U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Stevens was a dedicated servant, who, until his final moments, served his nation with honor and dignity. Stevens’ death has saddened and shocked the nation. President Barack Obama, in a statement on Wednesday, described Stevens as a “courageous and exemplary representative of the United States.”
He was a servant of the people. His colleagues, friends and loved ones described him as a man who immersed himself with the Libyan people and the country he served. He made it his mission to help the Libyan people rebuild their nation after years of oppression and tyranny. The sad reality is that his mission ended in the land he tirelessly worked to help.
The State Department describes the mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service as “promoting peace, supporting prosperity and protecting American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.”
Dina Duella, a Libyan American and adjunct faculty at Chapman University, spoke at a Muslim Public Affairs Council press conference about the heartbreak Libyans feel over Stevens’ death.
“Anyone who knew the late Ambassador Chris Stevens knew he was one of the greatest champions of the Libyan revolution,” she said. “These despicable attacks are the attacks of a few people and they are no way condoned by the vast majority of the Libyan people. This no way represents the religion of Islam, and this no way represents the Libyan people. There were some Libyans who died trying to save the ambassador and his staffers. Those Libyans who died are the true Muslims here and the true martyrs in this incident.”
Though the motive and reasons behind the attack are still unclear, one thing is certain: Islam unequivocally states that the killing of one innocent human being is equivalent to the killing of all of humanity.
Vigils have been organized around the country in memory of Stevens and those who lost their lives on that tragic day. MPAC encourages all people of conscience and character to attend and/or organize a vigil in their communities. It is important for us to come together during this difficult time and invite our interfaith neighbors to engage in a dialogue about the events that have unfolded this past week.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. In such a trying time, it is imperative to remember our strength as a nation lies in its unity.