Friday, June 8, 2012
Survivors of 1967 attack by Israel on USS Liberty gather in Arlington Cemetery
On June 8th a few survivors of the June 8th 1967 attack on the USS Liberty gather at the Arlington National Cemetery. After a prayer some will go off to lunch in Alexandria Virginia.
The USS Liberty was attacked by an Israeli jet fighter and Israeli torpedo boats during the Six Day war. A total of 34 crew members were killed and 170 crew members. For more see this article.
The Liberty is described as a technical services ship a euphemism for a spy ship as far as I can determine. At the time of the attack it was in international waters north of the Sinai peninsula. Investigations by both the U.S. and Israeli government ruled that the attack was an accident. Some analysts think that both governments simply wanted to avoid hurting relations and that the Israelis simply did not want the U.S. spying on their activities. The Liberty was flying the U.S. flag quite prominently at the time of the attack.
The U.S government is still wary of calling attention to the incident. Visitors notice that no political or military officials appear on June 8th to commemorate the casualties. However military sites such as the Stars and Stripes and Military.com do write about the event. One visitor remarked:“Of the family members and the survivors, every single one of us at one time or another has invited our representative from [the House] and the Senate. And no one has ever shown up. No one. It’s a very sad little gathering.” Even 45 years after the attack no uniformed officers were expected to attend the ceremony. For more see the full article at military.com.