Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American Legion Sees Chance To Bring Home Remains Of Sailors Buried In Libya 200 Years Ago

Amanda Terkel
The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Thirteen U.S. sailors who died in 1804 during the First Barbary War and were buried in Tripoli, Libya, may finally be coming home, if the American Legion gets its way.

Since the uprising in Libya broke out six months ago, the veterans organization has been lobbying Congress to bring home the remains of the U.S. servicemen. The crew, led by Master Commandant Richard Somers and Lt. Henry Wadsworth (uncle of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), died when their explosives-packed ship blew up prematurely during a mission to Tripoli.

"It's the best chance we've had in a long time," said Tim Tetz, legislative director for the American Legion. "We've got a change of politics in Libya. We've got family members who have stood up and said, 'We want to have our family members brought home.' We've got the will and might of America to say, 'Let's respect those who fought our wars for us, and that includes all wars.'"

As Politico's Dave Levinthal reports, the American Legion is one of 11 groups that have "formally lobbied the federal government on pet causes that, in one fashion or another, concern Libya." Oil companies, the American Civil Liberties Union and United to End Genocide have all been taking their concerns to the federal government.


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