Friday, November 18, 2011
Somers, Wadworth Families seek Repatriation
INTREPID FAMILIES WORK IN CONGRESS TO PASS REPATRIATION LEGISLATION
Descendants of Navy heroes urge passage of Senate amendment ordering return of remains
(SOMERS POINT, NJ) - The descendants of 13 US Navy heroes buried on "the shores of Tripoli" returned home from Washington satisfied with the results of two days of back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill working closely with Senate staff and veterans service organizations to bring their forebears home.
"All of us were humbled by the interest and attention we were granted by senior staff representing 33 different US Senators across two very long days," Connecticut State Rep. William Wadsworth said. "Almost all of the meetings were positive and we were happy to see four Democratic Senators signed on as co-sponsors of the bipartisan measure to bring our heroes home."
Wadsworth is a descendant of the family of Lt. Henry Wadsworth, second in command of the USS Intrepid. Lt. Wadsworth and his crewmates were killed on an 1804 US Navy mission during the Barbary Wars. Their bodies washed ashore and were dragged through the streets of Tripoli, fed to wild dogs and dumped in mass graves. They are still buried there today.
Senate Amendment 1138 - which requires the Department of Defense to repatriate the crew's remains - was called up today and now awaits a vote in the US Senate. The US Navy opposes the repatriation of their first combat heroes and is quietly asking Senators to reject the measure.
"These sailors are heroes whose exploits are celebrated by the Navy every day," Somers Point, NJ resident Dean Somers said. "I simply cannot understand why the Navy opposes repatriation; we know exactly where they are and the locals are supportive. Enough is enough - it's time to bring our boys home."
Somers is a descendant of the family of Master Commandant Richard Somers, the commander of the USS Intrepid who led the heroic mission and was killed defending our nation. The families of The Intrepid heroes have asked the Department of Defense to right this wrong and bring the men home for a proper and honorable burial. The Navy has refused for 207 years.
In May, Rep. Frank LoBiondo and Rep. Mike Rogers attached an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring repatriation that passed unanimously in the House of Representatives. A similar amendment to the NDAA was submitted this week by Republicans Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. Scott Brown and Sen. John Boozman and gained the co-sponsorship of Democrats Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Robert Menendez, and former US Navy Secretary Sen. James Webb.
The national Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion endorsed the legislation requiring repatriation of the USS Intrepid sailors. The two groups are actively lobbying Congress to pass the amendment and bring The Intrepid heroes home.
For more information on The Intrepid Project please visit www.IntrepidProject.org.
NOVEMBER 18, 2011
CONTACT: MICHAEL CAPUTO
Warrior Legacy Foundation
Today the first US Navy commandos lie abandoned in mass graves in a foreign land. When their bodies washed up on the "Shores of Tripoli" in 1804, the Libyan dictator dragged them through the streets and invited a pack of dogs to devour them as American prisoners of war looked on. More than 207 years later these 13 naval heroes remain buried in broken down mass graves.
With Muamar Ghadafi dead, we can finally repatriate their remains - but we need your help. Please donate whatever you can afford to help us bring our boys home and honor them for their service to our nation!
Your generous donation is tax deductible.
Somers Point Historical Society invited you to
Benefit Richard Somers Monument
Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Sign up for $30 or donate to Richard Somers Monument fund.
Gregory's Bar and Restaurant
900 Shore Road
Somers Point NJ 08244