USS Liberty Veterans Association VP Goes to D.C. to Establish USS Liberty Remembrance Day Over Troubled Waters

USS Liberty Veterans Association VP Goes to D.C. to Establish USS Liberty Remembrance Day Over Troubled Waters
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Larry Bowen is a USS Liberty survivor of The Six Day War and the current Vice President of the USS Liberty Veterans Association who is educating Senators regarding the troubled waters that began on 8 June 1967.

Troubled waters refer to a confused or chaotic state of affairs.

By Eileen Fleming

The crew of the USS Liberty is the most decorated crew since World War II and among the most decorated for a single engagement in the entire history of the United States Navy. Virtually unarmed, the American navy intelligence ship was attacked by Israeli planes and torpedo boats on June 8, 1967 killing 34 US Sailors and Marines and wounding 174 more. Yet, the attack has never received a full investigation, as required by law.

USS Liberty survivor of The Six Day War, Larry Bowen is determined to change that. In this excerpt from “We Americans and the USS Liberty” DVD for sale at the Liberty Veterans Association’s Book Store, Bowen courageoulsy speaks about 50 years of Post Traumatic Stress:

From February 25-28, Bowen was one of thousands of veterans on The Hill educating congressional representatives on veterans issues. 

Bowen reported:

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On Monday I was able to meet and talk with people in various Senators offices: John Kennedy (LA); Patrick Toomey (PA); Mitch McConnell (KY); Michael Enzi (WY): and Marco Rubio (FL).

The primary topic was American Legion Resolution #40; the USS Liberty and having Congress investigate the attack on the USS Liberty.

The general response was getting a Remembrance Day or having a Permanent Memorial erected both of which would stand a much better chance of passage.

On Tuesday, I was able to meet and talk with the following people in various Congressmen’s offices:

Congressman Robert Wittmann (VA)

Congressman Steve Cohen (TN)

Congressman Devin Nunes (CA)

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (MD)

I was pleased that even though it has been fifty years since the attack on the Liberty 50% of the offices that I visited left me with the impression that they would at least read the material I had gone over with them and provide me feedback.

Congressman Nunes office has already emailed me to set-up a return visit to meet with the Congressman personally for a discussion and a photo opportunity…-Larry L. Bowen, USS LIBERTY VETERANS ASSOCIATION Vice-President, USS LIBERTY AGTR-5 (Survivor)

During the first week of May, Bowen provided further details and the following resolutions via email: 

In addition to my visit to DC in February I’ve been very busy with getting ‘resolutions’ moving through various organizations in New York and Maryland. In New York the American Legion, VFW, and Korean War Veterans have all submitted resolutions asking for their state legislatures to approve the resolutions.

In the state of Maryland the VFW and the Disabled American Veterans have also submitted similar resolutions asking for the same thing…

I also met with Senator Michael Enzi’s Legislative Assistant Mr. Charles Carroll and provided him with the American Legion resolution 40. We talked for some time but whenever I tried to get a commitment from him he would always defer to his “boss.”

In looking through some of my folders, I also made visits to Senator Joe Donnelly’s office and left material for Connor Jeffers his Legislative Correspondent. Senator Sherrod Brown’s office where I actually talked with his Legislative aide Tommy Brown and left material there as well; and Senator Mark Warner’s office where I talked with Micah Barbour the Legislative Correspondent and left American Legion resolution 40 and other USS Liberty material.

I will be going back down to Washington in a couple of weeks to knock on some more doors and re-visit some of these previous doors to see if anything has changed…

The American Legion Department of New York

Hereby submits a resolution to petition the New York State Legislature and the Governor to recognize the crew of the USS Liberty and the thirty-four servicemen killed by dedicating a memorial and establishing June 8thas USS Liberty Day in New York and that the New York State Congressional delegation submit national legislation to set aside June 8theach year as USS Liberty Day and authorize the placement of a memorial within Washington DC.

Whereas, on June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty and her crew of 294 (including 3 civilians) was operating in international waters; and,

Whereas, in an unprovoked attack by Israeli war planes and torpedo boats resulted in the death of 34 Americans including five from New York and the wounding of 174 others; and,

Whereas, after sending out distress calls stating the ship was under attack and requires immediate assistance the attack continues for approximately 22 minutes involving 30 to 35 sorties and following the air attack three Israeli motor torpedo boats fire five torpedoes one of which strikes Liberty on the starboard side resulting in the deaths of twenty-five (25) of the thirty-four (34) men killed; and

Whereas, the crew of the USS Liberty fought valiantly to overcome the battle damage that included severe structural damage and save their ship often placing themselves in extremely hazardous situations in total disregard for their personal safety finally succeeding to reach port; and,

Whereas, due to the sensitive nature of the USS Liberty’s equipment and documents crew members still reeling from the attack with some having suffered wounds during the attack were tasked with entering the severely damaged area and recovering the bodies and body parts of their fellow shipmates; and,

Whereas, having suffered through the attack and subsequent recovery the crew was informed that under penalty of arrest, fines, and imprisonment they were forbidden to speak about the incident which further compounded the effects of Post Traumatic Stress; and,

Whereas, because of unsupported statements by some U.S. government officials that the attack was accidental, the USS Liberty survivors have been vilified in some quarters for over 50 years because they refuse to be part of the government’s cover-up; and,

Whereas, the USS Liberty is the most decorated Navy ship for a single engagement. To wit, Captain William McGonagle received the Medal of Honor, and the crew received 2 Navy Crosses; 12 Silver Stars; 26 Bronze Stars; 208 Purple Hearts; 9 Navy Commendation Medals; the Combat Action Ribbon; the Presidential Unit Citation; and more.

Whereas, at its national convention in 2017, the American Legion adopted Resolution 40 calling upon the United States Congress “to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath; and,

Whereas, no memorial befitting the heroic actions of the crew of the USS Liberty has been established due in part to the incident being shrouded in controversy; now be it

Resolved, that the members of The American Legion Department of New York assembled in convention July 19, 2018 urge the New York State Legislature to formally recognize the date June 8thas USS Liberty Day now and forever and dedicate a memorial befitting the courage and dedication of the Liberty’s crew and the five New York sailors who lost their lives be placed in Albany New York; and be it further

Resolved, that the New York State Congressional delegation be herby respectfully memorialized by the New York State Legislative Body to pass legislation recognizing the date June 8thnow and forever as USS Liberty Day and authorize the dedication of a memorial befitting the courage and dedication of the Liberty’s crew to be placed in Washington DC; and be it further,

Resolved, that the American Legion, Department of New York reaffirms Resolution 40 and calls upon all members of New York’s U.S. Congressional delegation to heed the resolution’s call for Congress “to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath”; and,

Resolved, that this resolution is forwarded to the National Organization for its support.###


The Disabled American Veterans Department of Maryland

Hereby submit a resolution to petition the Maryland State Legislature and the Governor to recognize the crew of the USS Libertyand the thirty-four servicemen killed by dedicating a memorial and establishing June 8thas USS Liberty Day in Maryland and that the Maryland State Congressional delegation submit national legislation to set aside June 8theach year as USS Liberty Day and authorize the placement of a memorial within Washington DC.

Whereas, on June 8, 1967 the USS Liberty and her crew of 294 (including 3 civilians) was operating in international waters; and,

Whereas, in an unprovoked attack by Israeli war planes and torpedo boats resulted in the death of 34 Americans including one civilian from the largest Department of Defense employer in Anne Arundel County and the wounding of 174 others; and,

Whereas, after sending out distress calls stating the ship was under attack and requires immediate assistance the attack continues for approximately 22 minutes involving 30 to 35 sorties and following the air attack three Israeli motor torpedo boats fire five torpedoes one of which strikes Liberty on the starboard side resulting in the deaths of twenty-five (25) of the thirty-four (34) men killed; and

Whereas, the crew of the USS Liberty fought valiantly to overcome the battle damage that included severe structural damage and save their ship often placing themselves in extremely hazardous situations in total disregard for their personal safety finally succeeding to reach port; and,

Whereas, due to the sensitive nature of the USS Liberty’s equipment and documents crew members still reeling from the attack with some having suffered wounds during the attack were tasked with entering the severely damaged area and recovering the bodies and body parts of their fellow shipmates; and,

Whereas, having suffered through the attack and subsequent recovery the crew was informed that under penalty of arrest, fines and imprisonment they were forbidden to speak about the incident which further compounded the effects of Post Traumatic Stress; and,

Whereas, because of unsupported statements by some U.S. Government officials that the attack was accidental, the Liberty survivors have been vilified in some quarters for over 50 years because they refuse to be part of the government’s cover-up; and,

Whereas, the USS Liberty is the most decorated Navy ship for a single engagement. To wit, Captain William McGonagle received the Medal of Honor, and the crew received 2 Navy Crosses (posthumously); 12 Silver Stars (3 posthumously); 26 Bronze Stars; 9 Navy Commendations; 208 Purple Hearts (34 killed in action); the Combat Action Ribbon; the Presidential Unit Citation; and,

Whereas, at its national convention in 2017, the American Legion adopted Resolution 40 calling upon the United States Congress “to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath; and,

Whereas, no memorial befitting the heroic actions of the crew of the USS Liberty has been established due in part to the incident being shrouded in controversy; now be it

Resolved, that the members of The Disabled American Veterans Department of Maryland assembled in convention during June 2018 urge the Maryland State Legislature to formally recognize the date June 8th as USS Liberty Day now and forever and dedicate a memorial befitting the courage and dedication of the Liberty’s crew and Lieutenant  Steven Toth a United States Naval Academy Graduate who lost their lives be placed in Annapolis, Maryland; and be it further

Resolved, that the Maryland State Congressional delegation be hereby respectfully memorialized by the Maryland State Legislative Body to pass legislation recognizing the date June 8thnow and forever as USS LibertyDay and authorize the dedication of a memorial befitting the courage and dedication of the Liberty’s crew to be placed in Washington DC; and be it further,

Resolved, that the Disabled American Veterans Department of Maryland reaffirms Resolution 40 and calls upon all members of Maryland’s U.S. Congressional delegation to heed the resolution’s call for Congress “to publicly, impartially, and thoroughly, investigate the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath”; and,

Resolved, that this resolution is forwarded to the National Organization to for its support.###

THIS STORY WILL CONTINUE HERE

Eileen Fleming, senior non-Arab correspondent writes for TADN

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Contact Eileen Fleming

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Eileen Fleming

Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for TADN at The Arab Daily News
Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for The Arab Daily News
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" who founded WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in Palestine Israel.
In 2012, Eileen ran for US House of Representatives District 5, in Fl.
Read her FREE eBooks and more at:http://www.eileenfleming.org/
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