Thursday, January 12, 2012
Old Protestant Cemetery - Tripoli
New free Libyan Flags fly above Tripoli's Old Protestant Cemetery where the graves of American Naval Heroes are located.
Based on the research of a local Libyan, Triopli harbor master Mustapha Burchis, the United States ambassador and U.S. Navy officially recognized five crypts at the Old Protestant Cemetery as those of the men of the USS Intrepid. The captain of the USS Spokane and the mayor of Tripoli Yousef Karamanli participated in a ceremony that also included the British Army and a Scottish regiment of bagpipers. The mayor was a direct descendant and namesake of the Tripoli prince of the pirates who was the first to declare war against the United States by chopping down the flagpole outside the residence of the American counsel. He did so because the United States had ceased paying tribute to stop the piracy. At that ceremony they raised an American flag and a placed an historical marker before each grave that reads:
HERE LIES AN AMERICAN SAILOR
WHO GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE
EXPLOSION OF THE USS SHIP INTREPID
IN TRIPOLI HARBOR
SEPTEMBER 2, 1804
(Sic Actual date: Sept. 4)
United States Ambassador Mr. Gene Cretz and US Military Attache Brian Linvill place American flags at the graves of American naval heroes at Old Protestant Cemetery on recent Memorial Day.
Their reports led to an earlier effort to repatriate the remains of the Intrepid crew.
Inside the cemetery shortly before or during the restoration.
The cemetery after restoration.
US Secretary of Defense visits the cemetery after it was restored.
Sec. Defense Penetta places Challenge Coin on the grave of Intrepid crewman.