USS Liberty: We Held a Memorial Service and NOBODY Came
By Joe Meadors
This is an open letter to every American who honors every member of our armed forces who was Killed in Action by forces declared to be hostile to the United States regardless of who the antagonist is.
If you do not see yourself in that group you must be one of the National Leaders of The Department of Defense, the Navy Department, the American Legion, or the Navy League or a Member of Congress.
Suppose you gave a memorial service for Americans killed in action during an attack on a US Navy ship by an enemy of the United States and nobody came.
Suppose you gave a memorial service for Americans killed in action during an attack on a US Navy ship in which that ship was ordered to be abandoned while it was still under attack and calling for help and nobody came.
Suppose you gave a memorial service for Americans killed in action during an attack on a US Navy ship in which among the awards won by the officers and crew of that ship are the Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, eleven Silver Stars, twenty Bronze Stars, nine Navy Commendations, 208 Purple Hearts, 294 Combat Action Ribbons and the Presidential Unit Citation which makes it among the most decorated ships for a single action in US Navy history and nobody came.
Impossible you say? Not so. In fact it happens every year. On June 8th of every year — the anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty — USS Liberty survivors and our families gather to hold a memorial service in Washington DC. This year it was held in the Navy Memorial.
Members of Congress were invited to send an official representative to honor our fallen shipmates as were the Department of Defense and Navy Department, The American Legion, the Navy League and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
These are all organizations who never miss an opportunity to honor the American military especially those who have been Killed in Action during an attack by an enemy of the United States.
Well, almost never.
The Department of Defense was a no-show.
The Navy Department was a no-show.
The American Legion was a no-show.
The Navy League was a no-show.
Congress was a no-show.
This is nothing new.
We’ve been holding an annual memorial service in Washington, DC for decades. They’re always invited but they NEVER attend a memorial service for USS Liberty KIA. At most a ten minute drive from their offices to honor American fallen sailors and none of those organizations could be bothered to send a single official representative.
Compare that to the time President Obama attended a memorial service at Fort Hood on the mere off chance that those killed were victims of a terrorist attack.
Being selected for special treatment is nothing new to USS Liberty survivors.
Among the USS Liberty firsts:
- We are the first ship to be attacked by forces declared to be hostile to the United States then ordered to be abandoned by US Navy forces in the Mediterranean while we were still under attack and calling for help;
- We are the first ship in US naval history since World War II to be torpedoed during an attack that has never been investigated by the US government;
- We are the first ship in US naval history to submit a War Crimes Report to the Department of Defense only to have that War Crimes Report ignored;
- This is the first time in US naval history that Congressional responses to constituent inquiries about the attack on our ship routinely contain boilerplate responses using wording prepared by the antagonist or her de facto spokespeople; and,
- This is the first time in US naval history in which no attempt has ever been made by any Member of Congress to contact us to elicit our input on what should be included in their responses.
Our 34 shipmates who were Killed In Action during the attack on our ship are the first in US naval history whose memorial service has been deemed unworthy of attending by The American Legion, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, and the Navy League as well as every Member of Congress and their staff.
Is this how America treats its combat casualties? If you say “no” think again.
Is there a litmus test applied to determine if it is appropriate to honor or memorialize Americans who are Killed in Action? Apparently there is. And we fail that test.
Ensuring that our fallen shipmates are properly honored and remembered is one of the goals of the USS Liberty Veterans Association. Another goal is ensuring the attack and continuing cover-up of that attack is finally and thoroughly investigated by the US government.
Please forward this to anyone you feel may (dare I say should) be interested. Especially to those in The American Legion, the Navy League, DoD, Navy Department and Congress.
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(Joe Meadors is a USS Liberty survivor. He also was a participant in the Freedom Flotilla I and II attempts to break the siege on Gaza. He can be contacted at email@example.com.)
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He was aboard the USS Liberty when the ship was attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces in 1967 and has been in the forefront of the effort to ensure the US government finally investigates the attack.He also participated in Freedom Flotilla I in 2010 whose goal was to break the blockade of Gaza only to be brutally attacked by the IDF who killed 9 human rights activists on the MV Mavi Marmara.
The death of one American citizen on the Mavi Marmara elicited nary a peep of outrage or condemnation from the State Department.This follows the outrageous precedent the State Department initiated when 34 Americans were killed on the USS Liberty which was followed by silence from the State Department.Meadors is an eye-witness to and a victim of this policy.
His background gives him a unique perspective as an American citizen when it comes to issues involving the Middle East.
He will be sharing that perspective in his articles for The Arab Daily News.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest posts by Joe Meadors (see all)
- Why Investigate Navy Seals but NOT USS Liberty Survivors? - November 9, 2014
- USS Liberty: Are We “Conspiracy Theorists” or “USS Liberty Truthers”? - June 24, 2014
- USS Liberty: We Held a Memorial Service and NOBODY Came - June 16, 2014