State Department Employees Hold Private Benghazi Memorial After No Official Event Scheduled
September 16, 2013 by Ben Bullard
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.