Encouraged by the recent developments in Libya, three U.S. senators have called attention to the remains of 13 American soldiers buried in Tripoli more than 200 years ago. A proposal has been passed to the Defense Department to bring home the sailors.
The U.S. navy ship, Ketch Intrepid, under the command of Richard Somers, exploded in 1804. The ship was packed with dynamite.
The determined senators who resolved to recover the bodies back to American soil are Dean Heller (R-Nevada), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), and Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts).
It's past time that we give these men a proper military burial in the country they died defending, said Sen. Heller in a press release.
The senators pointed out the pitiable condition of the graves which are underneath a public square.
Among those backing the efforts are Somers Point Mayor, Jack Glasser, and Raymond Kelley of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In a letter written to Heller, Kelley said, Unlike other U.S. graves on foreign soil, such as Normandy, these heroes received no military burial, referring to the 9000 Americans laid to rest at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.
Finding it disrespectful to have had a mass burial for the sailors, he said: It is time to bring them home to have a proper military burial.
Inclined by the move, Mayor Glasser is concerned about leaving the remains behind to have another regime in Libya, possibly hostile, desecrate them.
The combined efforts of the lawmakers and veterans seem to have finally executed with the introduction of the bill to the Defense Department, which is now pending in the Senate.