Wednesday, September 15, 2010
William Kelly at Somers Mansion on Richard Somers Day 2010
(Photo by Dan Drake, Press of Atlantic City)
William Kelly’s Remarks at Richard Somers Day at Somers Mansion - September 12, 2010
Sometimes I wonder if people 200 years from now will remember the events of 9/11, but then I think how here we are, over 200 years after the explosion of the Intrepid in Tripoli Harbor, and it is still relevant and impacting us and current events today.
These aren’t just current events, but two centuries old issues that won’t ever be resolved until the remains of Richard Somers and the crew of the Intrepid are repatriated home.
There’s always a problem or crisis, whether it’s us bombing them, or the case of the Bulgarian nurses wrongfully accused of inflicting AIDS on children, or the continuing repercussions of Pan Am 103 that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, a terrorist attack in which the convicted bomber was sentenced to prison but released on humanitarian grounds because he was dying of cancer.
It’s been over a year now since he received a hero’s welcome in Tripoli, and it appears that rather than dying of cancer he is living comfortably in a harem, while British and Scottish and BP Oil executives refuse to honor requests for their testimony before a Congressional hearing.
The hearings were called by New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Menendez, who clearly represent the interests of the families of the victims of the Lockerbie attack, many of whom are from New Jersey, yet these same Senators apparently don’t even know about the efforts to repatriate the remains of Somers, a New Jersey patriot.
At least they have not even bothered to respond to our letters and requests for their assistance to return of the remains of Richard Somers, whose family has patiently asked for them to take up their cause, which is the same cause as the families of the victims of Lockerbie, as they are families of victims in the war against piracy and terrorism.
There’s a West Point history professor who maintains that the recent renewal of diplomatic relations with Libya is actually the beginning of the resolution of the two centuries old conflict that was never really resolved, and won't end until we see the return of the remains of the men of the Intrepid.
Right now we are at a stand still in the effort to repatriate the remains of Richard Somers home, and we won’t get past this temporary problem until Senators Lautenberg and Menedez are brought into the picture, along with the Department of State, the DOD, the POWMP detachment and the administration, who all must understand the situation and be on the same page when it comes to the task of bringing the remains of Somers and his men home.
Right now the problem is the fact that the convicted Lockerbie terrorist was freed from a Scottish prison before his time was up and received a hero’s welcome on his return home to Tripoli. That can never be chaned, but it it is an issue can that can be overcome by the ballance of the scales of justice with a similar homecoming – the homecoming that Richard Somers and the remains of the officers and men of the Intrepid, who will also be given a hero's welcome when they are finally repatriated home.