Remember the men of the original USS Intrepid in Tripoli this Veterans Day, Tuesday November 11, 2008.
Do you think people will remember the events of September 11, 2001 two centuries from now?
The original USS Intrepid exploded in Tripoli harbor on September 4, 1804, over two hundred years ago and we are still experiencing the aftershocks today.
They're still trying to tidy up the legal affairs left dangling in the explosion of the Intrepid, the bombing of a German disco, Pan Am over Lockerbee and the bombing of Quadafi's home. While reparations are being paid out on both sides of this fence, there is still the issue of the repatriation of the remains of the 13 sailors of the Intrepid and the body of Capt. Paul F. Laurence, whose plane was lost on the Operation El Dorado Canyon mission that attacked Quadafi's home.
If we are going to pay reparations to the families of those killed in that action, we should require the Libyans to be accountable for the remains of Capt. Laurence, and the men of the Intrepid.
Secretary of State Condi Rice visted Quadafi in Tripol in September 5, 2008, two hundred and four years to the day that the victims of the Intrepid washed ashore Tripoli harbor. The negotiations continue, yet the names of the men of the Intrepid have not yet even been publically raised as an issue to date.
With the arrival of the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier back to its home berth on Manhattan's West Side in November, this Veterans Day is a prime opportunity to remember the men of the original USS Intrepid, relay their stories to inspire others and to continue the efforts to repatriate their remains home.
Someday soon the men of the original USS Intrepid will be returned, and after repatriation cremonies aboard the Intrepid carrier, they will recieve a proper burrial, with full miliary honors, just as it is done for those who die abroad today.
In many respects we are only now winding up the war they began over two hundred years ago, and the principles we fight for today are the same as what they fought for - freedom, liberty and democracy, and the things we fight against - tyranny, slavery and piracy, issues that ring true today and tie our mutual histories together.
This Veterans Day is one week past election day, and the repatriation of the men of the Intrepid is a non-partisan regardless of the outcome. As with all Deep Political events like Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and the political assassinaitons of the Sixties, there is no Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative side, so this is one non-partisan issue that can get people to work together to make happen. And then we may be able to work togther on other issues too.
Remember the Men of the original Intrepid on Veterans Day, as they best represent the basic issues that we are fighting for today.
The Men of the USS INTREPID – September 4, 1804 – Tripoli Harbor
Master Commandant Richard Somers
Lt. Henry Wadsworth
Midshipman Joseph Israel (14 years old)
From the USS Constitution
From the USS Nautilus
James “Bos’n” Simms