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State Department Employees Hold Private Benghazi Memorial After No Official Event Scheduled

September 16, 2013 by  

A small group of State Department staffers held their own private memorial ceremony last week to mark the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. With no official ceremony planned, it was the least they could do.

According to political news site Talking Points Memo, the private memorial ceremony came together after employees realized the agency wouldn’t be organizing a formal commemoration of the tragedy, which took the lives of four Americans – including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“A State Department staffer who worked with Stevens in Libya and asked not to be named told TPM there were about 20 to 25 staffers at the memorial,” TPM’s Hunter Walker wrote. “The informal gathering was put together after staffers inquired and learned the department would not be holding an official event to mark the anniversary.”

State Department employees were among recipients last week of a widely-distributed internal email, sent by Secretary of State John Kerry, with the heading “Remembering September 11.” That email allegedly referenced both the commercial airplane hijackings and the Benghazi attacks.

But one recipient involved in holding the private memorial said no one in the chain of command offered an explanation for why a formal, organized event had not been planned.

“It was very meaningful — we hugged, told stories, laughed, cried. Someone put flowers by the wall, we stood awkwardly, then we went back to work,” the anonymous State Department source told TPM.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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