Thursday, March 15, 2012
Secrets of the Old Protestant Cemetery
The official Libyan history book Secrets of the Old Protestant Cemetery by Abdu Hakim Amer Al-Tawil, (Tripoli: Libya; Libyan Center for Historical Studies, 2008), refers specifically to Richard Somers and the Intrepid crew.
The book apparently maintains that the graves of the three officers of the Intrepid became the foundation for the historic cemetery.
British officials at their embassy in Tripoli in the 1940s had informed Mustapha Burchis that they built the walls in 1830, and they were constructed around five pre-existing graves – (see Naval Proceedings – M. Burches, 1950).
There is a conflict here, in the fact that there were three officers and not five, but substantiation that the British built the cemetery walls was apparently confirmed by the primary editor of “Secrets,” Abdu Hakim Amer Al-Tawil, who had, in March 2001, posted, on a genealogical website, a request for information on former British diplomat Hanmer Warrington. The posting read:
Annunziata Warrington, 1800's, Libya
HADBA, TRIPOLI, LIBYA March,31,2001
“From the text of the establishment plate of the ‘Old Protestant Cemetery’ in Tripoli-Libya (September 1830), one can easily understand that one of its establishers is the Agent and consul general of U.k. in Tripoli-Libya: ‘Mr. Hanmer Warrington’, whom the grave of his wife, a young daughter and at least 2 of his sons were among the graves of this cemetery, one of them is ‘Hanmer George", father of "Annunziata.’”
“Since I am the new discoverer of this cemetery, busy these days in writing a book considered to be the first ever comprehensive study wrote about this cemetery, and since the writing of the gravestone of ‘Annunziata's’ father was damaged to the limit that it is no more readable, the only information available about him is that he married the Maltese woman ‘Palmyra’, had a daughter from her named ‘ANNUNZIATA’, borned and lived in Libya until 1903, then she died in the fifties of the 20th century with unknown date and place of death. You will be very appreciated if you can send me - to my P. O. Box not e - mail- all information you have about this daughter, including -of course- her portrait.”
This seems to confirm that the cemetery walls were built by the British around some pre-existing graves, possibly those of the Intrepid officers, and seems firmly grounded in fact, however I received a note from Hanseatic Hoelun of Sweden, who wrote: “Abdu Hakim Al-Tawil's book (Secrets of the Old Protestant Cemetery, Tripoli, Libya) mentions that the Old Protestant Cemetery was established by the Swedish-Norwegian consul, Adolf Hahr (my Great-great-great grandfather) Has anyone checked with the Government of Sweden, which maintains excellent archives?”
[Records at Ancestry.com reflect that Adolf Hahr (1793 - 1861) Born in Signildsberg Manor, Håtuna Uppsala Cnty, Sweden on 26 May 1793 to Anders Hahr and Anna Maria Rahling. Adolf married Charlotta Christina von Scheele and had 6 children. He passed away on 9 Oct 1861 in Hölö Parsonage, Södermanlands, Sweden. http://records.ancestry.com/Adolf_Hahr_records.ashx?pid=674391]
While visiting the museum and archives at the Old Castle Fort, Captain Gregory Miller received a copy of “Secrets” from then Director of Antiquities Dr. Giuma Anag.
Miller reported, “Despite the very positive tone of my negotiations with Dr. Giuma in August 2009, US relations with Libya seemed to noticeably chill after Scotland's release of the Lockerbie Pan Am bomber...While Dr. Giuma and his staff fully embraced the concept of a cooperative cemetery restoration project…Dr. Giuma's successor as Minister of Archaelogy and Antiquities (name unknown) retained the copy of my engineering assessment report and took immediate action on it. Ironically, the cemetery walls and the entry doors were fully restored in 2010--completely funded by the Qaddafi! Subsequently, a Libyan archaeological team was undertaking a meticulous restoration of each of the grave sites until a protest was filed by the AMEMB DCM and the restoration project was halted in the summer of 2010.”
“As for LT Somers, I do not believe Dr. Giuma or his staff knew anything about the purported grave site. He was very supportive of any and all historic preservation projects and shared with me his long term pipedreams of excavating whatever might be left of the Philadelphia and the Intrepid. These would have been very ambitious undertakings as 400 yds of what used to be Tripoli Bay has been reclaimed. Currently, the wrecks of both vessels are likely under a 4-lane coastal roadway.”
“In our second meeting, upon my queries about LT Somers, Dr. Giuma directly polled his staff as to the known existence of any Barbary War gravesites in the vicinity of the Red Castle. One of his senior staff members, offered that he had heard that some very old bones had been exhumed during an excavation project by the Italians in the 1930's but they had been subsequently paved over. Dr. Giuma directed Dr. Turjman to try to locate the site. Dr. Turjamn and I spent the next afternoon surveying the perimeter of the castle but did not focus our efforts on Green Square. Most of the areas adjacent to the Red Castle had, indeed, been paved over but much of this was cobblestone paving. We found no markers or indications of any burial sites.”
Miller offered his copy of the “Secrets” book to the Navy to translate from Arabic to English, but they declined. This fact led to mistaken belief that the Navy and DOD were not interested in the research presented by the book but when the Sec. of Defense visited he met those involved in the research and writing of the book.
After the Navy declined to review and translate “Secrets,” Miller lent his copy of the book to Chipp Reid, whose book The Intrepid will be soon be published. Reid took the book to the U.S. Navy Academy in Annapolis, and had some professors translate the portions of the book that are related to the Intrepid. Reid said a large portion of the book (70 pages) is dedicated to the Intrepid and the war and battles with the Americans at the turn of the 18th century.
As part of an article posted at the Intrepidproject.org, entitled, “We know exactly where they are,” Reid summarized some of what he learned from the translations of the book provided to him.
According to Reid, “The Libyan history is the definitive narrative of the Old Protestant Cemetery. It documents every person - male and female - buried in the cemetery, including a brief biography of each person. The history lists the name and disposition of each of the 75 people buried in the cemetery from 1830, when it was built, to 1890, when use of the cemetery ceased because there was no longer any space. It also specifies which bodies (or remains) are still in the cemetery and which bodies (or remains) various governments or families removed over time.”
[3 Abdu Hakim AlYTawil, Secrets of the Old Protestant Cemetery (Tripoli, Libya: Libyan Center for Historical Studies, 2008), pp. 71-76. (Tranlsation by Prof. of Arabic Studies Hezi Brosh, United States Naval Academy) 4 Ibid., pp. 80-81.]
Reid: “Attempts to cast doubt over the accuracy of the Libyan history are spurious at best. The Libyan historians went to great lengths to source everything in the cemetery history, including American historians, when they wrote about the crew of the Intrepid and the Philadelphia.”
According to the Intrepidproject account, “The Old Protestant Cemetery remained a dusty, near-forgotten spot some two miles from the medina or old town of Tripoli until the 1920s when Italian road engineers came across the mass grave of the enlisted men of the Intrepid. According to Italian maps and accounts contained in ‘Secrets,’ the engineers found the bodies close to the water while they worked on constructing a landfill for the future Al-Fatah Highway. With help from the Libyans, who knew the general location of the Intrepid enlisted men's mass grave, the Italians exhumed the remains they found, identified them as American using bits of uniform and buttons, and interred the remains in a pair of empty Cemetery coffins.” 5 [5 Ibid., pp. 122-136]
As reported by Reid, “...During a road construction project, Italian workers unearthed the beach grave of the enlisted men. With the help of Libyan authorities, the Italians identified the remains as that of the Intrepid crew and put the remains in two, possibly three, empty stone coffins in the Old Protestant Cemetery next to the graves of the American officers.”
The problem here is the three “graves of the American officers” are three stone crypts, while the American officers were buried in graves dug into the ground by the party of American prisoners from the Philadelphia. If they were buried in graves, how did they end up in the above-ground stone crypts?
That the Italian army road crew uncovered the remains of some of the men of the Intrepid and reburied them in crypts at the Old Protestant Cemetery was, for some time, a contentious point that some refused to believe. This was so despite the fact that historian Frank Kemp had corresponded with an Italian soldier who participated in the relocation of the remains, Dr. G\iuma Anag referred to the discovery of the remains and their relocation at the cemetery to the first American officials to return to Tripoli during the Gadhafi regime, as well as the reference to the Italians by Admiral Roughead in his determination that the cemetery is to be the final resting place for those men.
So now it should be firmly established that at least some of the remains of the Intrepid men were “unearthed” from the “beach grave” and relocated to Old Protestant Cemetery from that location, and that location – what Reid calls “the beach grave” of the enlisted men, is the Original Grave Site, while the Old Protestant Cemetery is where these men were relocated.
According to Reid, and apparently “Secrets,” the Old Protestant Cemetery was constructed around the original graves of the Intrepid officers. It should be easy enough to determine if the remains of the Intrepid officers are indeed in three of the crypts at Old Protestant Cemetery by simply opening them and photographing and examining what is there. This effort would include a search for possible clues (such as buttons or rings) and the taking of DNA samples that can be compared to the DNA samples obtained from the families of the officers (Somers, Wadsworth, Israel). This should lead to the positive identification of at least three of the remains, if the remains of the officers are in the cemetery.
It is the location of the “beach grave,” the original grave of the enlisted men that will be more difficult to find. But that location hasn’t moved in two centuries and is confined to an area within one square mile South and East of the old castle fort, somewhere between the fort and the cemetery. That location can be narrowed further through the examination and analysis of the maps, charts, aerial and satellite photos and reports produced by the Americans, Libyans, Italians, British, Sweeds and others.
According to Reid: “Bainbridge's account makes it very clear that American prisoners buried the three officers apart from the enlisted men. Cowdery describes the burial in his ‘American Captives in Tripoli’ (Boston: Belcher & Armstrong, 1806) as ‘By permission, I took our boatswain and a gang of men and buried these bodies, a little east of the wall of the town.’ Bainbridge's description is far more complete. ‘The ten seamen were buried on the beach, outside the town and near the walls: while the three officers were interred in the same grave, on the plain beyond, or a cable's length southward and eastward of the castle.”1 1 James Fenimore Cooper, Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers, (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1846), Vol. 1, p. 112.
Reid: "’Secrets’ also makes great use of archival and modern-day maps, showing the city of Tripoli as it was in 1804, 1830, 1890, 1911, 1920, 1950 and the present day. In each case, the history uses these maps to detail changes to the topography of the city - mostly from landfill projects that allowed the construction of two multi-lane highways. The maps also show the increasingly precarious nature of the location of the cemetery. It currently sits on a small sandstone outcrop next to the Al-Fatah Highway and is increasingly in danger of collapsing onto the road and into the Mediterranean.”
“At the same time, the Libyans embarked on their own two year project to fully document all of the dead in the Old Protestant Cemetery. In so doing, the Libyans identified what they believe is a sixth grave containing Intrepid crew remains.”
“According to ‘Secrets,’ nearly a third of the international deceased originally buried in the cemetery have since been repatriated to their home countries.6[6 Ibid., pp. 331-336.]
Reid: “Currently, the Old Protestant Cemetery contains the remains of the 13 Americans from the Intrepid, several Danes, French, Swedish, Russian, Swiss, English, and Canadian deceased. In all, according to "Secrets," the cemetery currently the holds the remains of 58 people from the international community. As such, it would be impossible to make the Old Protestant Cemetery solely an American cemetery. Anders Jorle, acting chief media officer of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, confirmed the presence of Swedish remains in the cemetery, although he was unaware of how many Swedes are interred there or how long they have been there.” 7 [7 Interview with Anders Jorle, November 21, 2011.]
Based on the evidence, there is only one conclusion - most if not all of the Intrepid crew of is buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery...roughly 1500 meters from the Red Castle on the shoreline of the port of Tripoli. Every available source confirms this. The strongest confirmation of the officers' graves being the foundation of the OPC is not Libyan, but the foremost US naval historian of his time, Gardner W. Allen. In his "Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs" (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1905), Allen conducts an in-depth look at the reports of both Turkish and American sources and rightfully concluded that, "The bodies were buried south of the town, the three supposed officers by themselves."8[8 Gardner W. Allen, Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1905), pp. 209-210.]
“Since every source points to the Old Protestant Cemetery and no source again says this location there can only be one, unmistakable conclusion: the crew of the first USS Intrepid remains buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery, a graveyard that is crumbling, contains international remains and is wholly unsuitable as any sort of lasting monument to their heroism. There is only one recourse: we must recover and return the remains of Master Commandant Richard Somers and his men and give them a proper military burial in the United States.”
We know Exactly where they’re buried
"All reliable sources point to Tripoli's Old Protestant Cemetery - and none say otherwise."Although mystery continues to surround the exact circumstances of how and why the first USS Intrepid exploded and sank September 4, 1804 in Tripoli, Libya, there is no mystery as to where the 13 men who sailed into glory that night now lay. Every available source - American, Libyan, Italian, Swedish and Danish - points to one place, the Old Protestant Cemetery, as the final resting place of Master Commandant Richard Somers and his men. Just as important: there is no evidence that Somers and his men are buried in any other place.
[BK Notes: I have a copy of the "Secrets of Old Protestant Cemetery" on the way and will post parts and review it as soon as I get the relevant parts translated.]
Sunday, March 4, 2012
The Old Castle Fort at Tripoli Harbor
Key Date Chronology
1778 September – Richard Somers born in Somers Point, NJ.
1778 October 15 - Battle of Chestnut Neck included Col. Richard Somers, father of Master Commandant Richard Somers.
1783 March. Algierian Barbary coast pirates seize two American merchant ships.
1784 October 11 Morocco pirate corsair seize American brig Betsey.
1785 June Henry Wadsworth born in Falmouth, Mass., now Portland, Maine, next door neighbor to Captain Edward Preble.
1785 Feb Algerian pirates seize two U.S. vessels, demand tribute; Pres. Jefferson deploys gunboats to the Mediterranean. “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.”
1785 US opens diplomatic relations with Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli.
1789 April 30 George Washington sworn in as President.
1793 December 16 President Washington notifies Congress that Barbary pirates were again seizing ships, consults with John Barry and Philadelphia shipbuilder Joshua Humphreys about building a fleet of warships.
1793 15 year old Richard Somers, first mate on family schooner in West Indies, takes command upon the death of the captain and returns ship safely home.
1794 Navy Act of 1794.
1794 March 19 John Barry requests command of the proposed fleet.
1794 March 27 an act of Congress orders building six new frigates.
1794 June 14 Washington orders John Barry “to form and train a class of midshipmen who would then be commissioned as Ensigns, and form the nucleus of a new American navy.” Barry commissioned first Captain, United States Navy.
1794 Richard Somers attends private Philadelphia Free Academy with schoolmates Charles Stewart, Steven Decatur, Jr., Richard Rush, and James Caldwell.
1794 September Captain John Barry supervises the construction of USS United States.
1794 October 22 Richard Somers, Sr. dies.
1795 December 21 US treaty with Morocco, Algiers “automatically under the clause in the Navy bill,” halts work on the six frigates.
1796 Jan. Sec of War McHenry reports that all six frigates could still be completed.
1796 April Congress approves the completion of three ships at Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore, the United States, the Constitution and the Constellation.
1796 September 19 Estimate for outfitting the frigate United States with 305 officers and men, fifty-four marines, for one month $7, 285.
1796 Gheretti/Mastico, a French built Ketch launched (later to become USS Intrepid).
1797 February 3 Richard’s mother Sophia dies.
1797 February 22 Washington, on his birthday, issues Commission No. 1 in the American Navy to John Barry, backdated to 1794. .
1797 March 4 John Adams becomes president.
1797 June 7 Treaty of Tripoli Approved by Senate.
1797 June 10 Treaty of Tripoli Signed by President Adams
1797 June 17 Notice of Treaty of Tripoli published in Pennsylvania Gazette.
1797 June 23 President Adams message to Congress re: Algiers/Barbary States.
1797 July 10 the USS United States is launched, John Barry Captain.
1797 350 applications for 59 commissions in new U.S. Navy.
1798 January 26 US counsel Richard O’Brian arrives in Algiers.
1798 March 9 Charles Stewart commissioned Lieutenant.
1798 April 30 Congress establishes Department of Navy, directed by secretary of cabinet rank, Maryland merchant Benjamin Stoddert.
1798 April 30 Midshipman warrants issued to Richard Somers and Steven Decatur.
1798 May 7 President John Adams appears in Philadelphia at rally.
1798 May 8 Richard Somers takes oath of allegiance.
1798 May James R. Caldwell appointed Midshipman.
1798 May 30 Richard Somers returns to Egg Harbor to get his affairs in order.
1798 June 8 Sloop Delaware (20 guns) under Commodore Stephen Decatur, Sr., takes a French prize, Le Croyable off Egg Harbor.
1798 July 7 USS Untied States gets underway under Capt. John Barry with Decatur, Jr., Charles Stewart and Somers as Midshipmen, head for the West Indies.
1798 Nov 4 Congress agreed to pay a yearly tribute to Tripoli.
1799 January 20 Richard Somers commissioned Lieutenant.
1799 June 2 Richard Somers writes will.
1799 June 22 Richard’s brother Constant dies in Russia in boating accident.
1799 Schooner Nautilus built as merchant vessel on Maryland’s East Shore.
1800 Nov. James Caldwell promoted to lieutenant, serves on USS United States.
1801 Somers appointed first lieutenant Boston (28 gun) 250 man sloop sent to the Mediterranean.
1801 James Caldwell assigned to the USS Constellation.
1801 Treaty of Tripoli violated by Yousuf Karamanli, pasha of Tripoli.
1801 January 21 Boston off Tripoli. Somers gets first view of Tripoli Harbor.
1801 May 14, After learning that Pres. Jefferson refused to pay a renewed tribute of $225,000 the Pasha of Tripoli declared war on the US by cutting down the US flagstaff in front of the US Consulate.
1801 May 22 Captain Richard Dale takes command of Med. Squadron.
1801 June – US Consul William Eaton contacts Hamad Karamanli, deposed pasha of Tripoli, and older brother of Yousuf and encourages him to return to Tripoli.
1801 July USS Enterprise under Lt. Andrew Sterrett defeats pirate ship Tripoli.
1802 Congress orders the construction of four schooners, the Siren, the Argus, Nautilus and Vixen with Somers given command of the Nautilus.
1802 February 6 Congress recognizes Tripoli has declared war against USA.
1803 April 11 Richard Somers launches schooner Goard Blossom at Mays Landing.
1803 May 13 Richard Somers ordered to oversee the refurbishing of schooner Nautilus.
1803 May 21 Captain Edward Preble given command of the Mediterranean squadron, with flagship frigate USS Constitution (44 guns).
1803 June 24 Somers’s schooner Nautilus ordered to join the Mediterranean squadron under command of Captain Edward Preble.
1803 September 13 Commodore John Barry dies.
1803 September 14 Somers and Nautilus reach Gibraltar.
1803 Preble obtains understanding in Tangier from the emperor of Morocco.
1803 Oct 31 frigate USS Philadelphia, Captain Bainbridge in command, runs aground off Tripoli, surrenders with full compliment of crew, 300 men.
1803 Nov 7 the Argus, with Stephen Decatur, joins Nautilus and Constitution.
1803 Dec 23, Lt. Stephen Decatur, commanding the schooner Enterprise, captures a Barbary pirate ketch, which is entered into the US Navy logs as the USS Intrepid.
1804 February 16 Decatur leads mission aboard Intrepid into Tripoli Harbor and successfully scuttles the captured frigate USS Philadelphia.
1804 June 2 USS Constitution, Enterprise, and Intrepid, a floating hospital, anchor off Syracuse. Siren, Agrus, Vixen and Scourage (also a pirate prize) blockade Tripoli.
1804 July Mediterranean squadron heads for Tripoli, lead by Preble’s flagship, the Constitution, four brigs, the Argus, Siran, Vixen and Scourge, two schooners, Nautilus (Somers) and Enterprise (Decatur) and eight gunboats (156 guns in all).
1804 July 25 Battle of Tripoli begins.
1804 August 3 Somers and Decatur lead flotillas of gunboats against Tripoli fleet, win decisively, though Decatur’s younger brother James Decatur is killed; Caldwell distinguishes himself in boat action; three enemy gunboats captured.
1804 August 7 Attack made against Tripoli fleet; Caldwell killed in Gunboat #9.
1804 Sept 3 Attack made against Tripoli fleet.
1804 Sept 4 Intrepid explodes in Tripoli harbor killing Somers, Wadsworth and ten volunteer sailors, whose remains wash ashore and are recovered.
1804 Sept 5 Intrepid crew buried in two nearby graves, by Dr. Cowdery and other American prisoners, “one cable’s length” (720 feet) from the walls of the old castle fort.
1805 Lt. David Porter takes up collection for Tripoli Monument, which includes the names of all the officers killed in the first Barbary War.
1807 Feb Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is born and named after Lt. Henry Wadsworth
1812 British take Washington. The Tripoli monument is damaged, repaired and relocated to the grounds of the US Capitol.
1830 Wife of British Counsel to Tripoli dies and is buried near existing graves, believed to be American sailors, and a wall is built around the cemetery.
1842 Alleged mutiny aboard USS Somers II, a training vessel, results in hanging of Midshipmen, and the end of training officers at sea.
1845 US Naval Academy established by Navy Secretary George Bancroft and the Tripoli Monument is relocated there.
1850 James F. Cooper writes biography of Richard Somers and suggests that someday the captain of an American cruiser should return with his remains so that he can be reburied in his native land among his friends and loved ones.
1905 President Theodore Roosevelt orders the repatriation of the remains of Captain John Paul Jones from a Paris crypt and reburied in the chapel at the Naval Academy.
1911 Italians begin occupation of Libya. Take over port and create the Plaza/Square.
1930 Italian Army road work crew uncovers the remains of five men from the original grave site and they are reburied at Old Protestant Cemetery.
1938 President Franklin Roosevelt orders a search for the location of the graves of the men of the Intrepid in Tripoli. Mustafa Burchis, a Libyan working for the Italians at the port of Tripoli investigates and learns some of the men of the Intrepid are buried at Old Protestant Cemetery.
1940 World War II. Burgis’ report is lost at the American Embassy in Rome.
1948–49 Muastafa Burchis informs the new US Consul Orray Taft, Jr. of his research and the members of the State Dept, US Navy, British embassy and local Libyans hold memorial ceremony and place historic markers at the Old Protestant Cemetery in 1949.
1950-1956 Two reports are published in the US Naval Proceedings journal.
1955 USMC study determines that no Marines are among the Intrepid victims.
1950-1969 The Officer Wife’s Club of Wheelus Air Force base maintain the cemetery.
1977 Two women from New Jersey discover the displaced graves at the cemetery, overgrown with weeds, and write about it in American Legion Magazine.
1980 Rep. William Hughes (D. 2NJ) introduces legislation in Congress to reserve graves for the 13 men of the Intrepid at Arlington in anticipation of their repatriation.
1988 Pres. Ronald Reagan orders the US military to bomb Tripoli in retaliation for terrorist attacks. Two US Navy pilots are shot down, and the remains of one recovered.
2002 Members of the Somers family and Somers Point, N.J. civic leaders petition US government and the Gadhafi Charities Foundation for repatriation. US State Dept. says there is no diplomatic relations with Libya.
2004 Gadhafi renounces terrorism, gives up Weapons of Mass Destruction and the US reestablishes formal diplomatic relations with Libya.
2004 Libyans excavate the original grave site and discover “bones and buttons.”
2004 US Dept. of State opens liaison office in Tripoli.
2004 Libyan guards tell US regional security officer Dan Mehan about American graves at cemetery, overgrown with weeds and in disrepair.
2006 March LTC Robert “Kyle” Carnahan arrives in Tripoli as defense attaché and meets with Dr. Giuma Anag, director of Antiquities.
2006 May Memorial Day ceremonies held at cemetery graves.
2007 May Memorial Day ceremonies held at cemetery graves.
2008 “Secrets of the Old Protestant Cemetery” book is published in Arabic in Libya.
2009 Gadhaif celebrates the 40th anniversary of coup with a parade at Green Square.
2009 Sept 5 Sec of State Condi Rice visits Gadhafi on the 105th anniversary of the burial of the men of the Intrepid.
2010 March Chief of Naval Operations Adml. Gary Roughead determines that the Old Protestant Cemetery is to be the final resting place for those men of the USS Intrepid, but does not mention the original unmarked mass grave site outside the old castle walls.
2011- February 17 Revolution in Libya begins, which Gadhafi violent suppresses.
2011 March UN & NATO prevents Gadhafi’s military from attacking Benghazi.
2011 April 15 Delegation from Somers Point meets with Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R. NJ), Mike Rogers (R. Mich) and the American Legion in Washington DC.
2011 April Rep. Rogers introduces House Resolution 1497 to repatriate the remains of the men of the Intrepid from Tripoli, co-sponsored by LoBiondo.
2011 May 26 Rep. Rogers attaches the Rogers/LoBiondo repatriation resolution to the 2012 Defense Authorization Act (DAA) as an amendment, which passes the House.
2011 August Green Square is liberated and renamed Martyrs Square.
2011 Nov. Sen. Dean Heller (R. Nev.) introduces complimentary Senate bill.
2011 Dec. Sen. John McCain (R. Arizona), ranking Republican on the Sen. Armed Services Com. (SASC) removes Repatriation Amendment before DAA is approved.
2011 Dec. 6 SASC and HASC Conference irons out differences in the DAA and ten US Senators sign letter requesting the Repatriation Amendment be reinserted in the DAA.
2011 Dec. 17 Sec. Defense Leon Panetta visits Tripoli and Intrepid graves at Old Protestant Cemetery.
2011 Dec. 31 President Signs Defense Authorization Act that includes a provision requiring the Navy to evaluate the feasibility of repatriating the remains of the men of the Intrepid from Tripoli and report back with recommendations in September 2012.
2012 Feb. 4 Intrepid Project meets at Somers Point Historical Society to consider options.