Do not forget
Today, on Sept. 11, 2014, two years have elapsed since Islamic militants attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed while on duty since 1979.
What most locals do not know is that Christopher Stevens was born in Grass Valley and is buried right here in his family’s ancestral plot.
John Christopher Stevens grew up in Northern California, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley, taught English in the Peace Corps in Morocco, where he learned Arabic, and graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Hastings School of the Law. He practiced as an international trade lawyer based in Washington, D.C., before he joined the Foreign Service in 1992.
He served as a Middle East specialist to Israel and Arab countries before being appointed by President Obama as U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
Christopher Stevens spent his career dedicated to serving his country as a communicator and diplomat in the Foreign Service. He died a martyr, but also a true hero and “citizen of the world”.
His granite marker reads: John Christopher Stevens; 1960–2012; U.S. Ambassador to Libya 2012, and bears the official symbol of the U.S. Foreign Service.
I hope that U.S. Congressional Representative Trey Gowdy, leading the Benghazi Select Committee, is successful in his investigation. Our country needs to bring to justice those responsible for this attack and anyone who failed to protect or rescue our personnel.
We need to resolve this issue so that Ambassador Stevens along with Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who died for their country in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, can rest in peace.
Cynthia Hren lives in Nevada City.
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