Ambassador Chris Stevens at the graves of men of USS Intrepid at Tripoli - Memorial Day 2012
US Ambassador Chris Stevens
William E. Kelly, Jr.
Dear Ambassador Stevens
First let me thank you for your service to our country during the Libyan revolution, and congratulate you on your well deserved appointment as Ambassador.
I also wish you well in the even more difficult task of guiding American interests and policy while a new society and government are established.
My interests in
began while researching and writing this book – “300 Years at the Point – A History of Libya ” – which includes a chapter on Master Commandant Richard Somers,
USN, who gave his life in the service of his country while leading the Intrepid
expedition into Somers Point, New Jersey harbor. He is
currently buried on the Shores of Tripoli, possibly among the remains at the
historic Tripoli . Old Protestant
The Somers family, led by his sister Sarah and continuing into the present generation, has always sought the return of his remains, a request that has been joined by many of the citizens of Somers Point and the State of
, as well as
the family of Somers’ second officer, Lt. Henry Wadsworth, uncle of Longfellow.
As you know, the 2012 Defense Authorization act requires the military to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of repatriating the remains of these men, when all we ask is that they be treated like any other American killed in action on foreign soil, and if they can be identified, to submit to the will of the family as to where they should be buried.
Whatever is the outcome of this matter, I would like you to consider visiting Somers Point, N. J. sometime. As you will see if you peruse my book, Somers Point, is a small, historic American port town with direct and continuing ties to
native son is buried there, and so could be an appropriate place for you to
give a report on the revolution and the current situation in Tripoli .
Thanks for your time and interest in these matters,
William E. Kelly