Important Message From Libya

22 April 2011

I’ve been reading traffic from a private worldwide group regarding the sad loss of journalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington in Libya.  The people discussing the loss include names you sometimes see on national television, in books, and so on and so forth.  The bylaws of the group preclude my publishing names or emails without permission.  When Nancy Youseff’s message came in from Libya, the importance of the substance of her message was clear. 

With Nancy’s permission, I have deleted a few names and here it is, fresh from Nancy in Libya:

Dear [D] and [J]: Thank you for posting these messages. I came back from Tim and Chris' memorial here in Benghazi to [A’s] message. It was disappointing to say the least especially after watching Libyans and non-Libyans gather to remember Chris and Tim's spirit and humanity. There were protests in Misrata yesterday over their deaths. Yes, those who lost family members and friends gathered to share in their outrage over what happened to Tim and Chris.  And at the memorial, the British envoy told a story that is worth repeating. (I am paraphrasing based on my memory.)  A resident of Misrata came to him to express his sympathies. The Brit said, "But you have lost thousands?" And the Misrata said "This is different. They came to help us and tell our story. We are indebted to them."

This morning Benghazi's bishop, who stayed here to help the wounded and sick despite the mass fleeing of Christians at the start of the uprising, held a prayer for Tim and Chris.

That is, this is not the story of how we are forgetting the thousands killed in Misrata; it is about how two people from distant lands have touched the people of Libya through their work and their dedication to telling the story of Misrata. They are a reminder that even in war, one can find beauty.

Nancy A. Youssef
Pentagon Correspondent
McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) Newspapers


# Brandon Wright 2011-04-22 14:59
Thanks Michael, good information.
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# J. SHAM 2011-04-22 15:17
I would like to see your emails again.
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# Peter 2011-04-22 15:29
Thanks Michael for this memorial.
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# Orion 2011-04-22 16:01
This is where hope in humanity lives.. 8)
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# Paul H. 2011-04-22 16:24 where two cultures come together to grieve a common loss.
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# John Schofield 2011-04-22 16:32
U.S. and U.K. seem nervous about a pssible vietnam-style situation.Scare d also, of stirring up Taleban situation.
Lessons can be learned from T.E.Lawrence. (He was let down by British 'looking-both-w ays' policies). Arab nations need populist sense of mission free from fundamentalism. I believe specialist forces are ready and waiting with boots on the ground; and I favor use of drones, as in Afghanistan.

These journalists were of the highest probity; and your mail is right n target..
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# Doug Laybourne 2011-04-22 16:42
Thank you Michael for giving us this window on 'the truth' in Libya. The real flesh-and-blood dwellers on this Earth, rise above the distorted picture the world is presented with by the war-mongers. Keep on telling it 'as-it-is'.
Peace, mi amigo
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# tiger 2011-04-22 16:55
lt reminds me the begining of yougoslavian war. journalists dying.i thing there is no vietnam there . this is desert and towns .only seven millions lybians. a very few lybians in western world. for.

i read your blog for today war history but i enjoy much other stuff.
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# matt 2011-04-22 17:18
Sebastian Junger captured many of our feelings well in his elegy on the Vanity Fair website.

What those men did will be long remembered. It takes a special kind to do what Hondros, Hetherington,yo urself and a few others do. There are no medals. There no real glory. But there is the satisfaction of knowing they did their best to tell stories that needed to be told.
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# leonard Hartley 2011-04-22 17:43
Did the Christians flee because they knew the "rebels" would be mainly comprised of the hate filled followers of a dead prophet who was a murderer, liar, thief and child molester? And that he commanded his followers to extort or kill those who did not "submit" to his message? We have lost thousands of precious American lives building goverments whose very law is founded on this evil doctrin. Moses, Jesus or this dead wicked prophet...that is what it is all about.
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# carolynn 2011-04-22 19:43
Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros lived purposeful lives and made the world a better place! They, truly, made a difference! Thank you, Tim and Chris!
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# Rick 2011-04-22 19:54
We are reminded that one's effort may go unnoticed by many but not all, and that even a seemingly insignificant effort may change the world.
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# Jim 2011-04-22 22:06
I was just watching the end of "Restrepo" when my mom came in and told me of the death of Tim Hetherington and the wounding of Chris Hondros. I felt like I was punched in the gut. The loss of these two great journalists is a loss for all those who chose live by peace dignity and truth. Please be careful and continue to set the bar for real journalism and those who report the truth rather than MSM dogma. It is utterly shocking to see the Sheer folly that is the UN and the Paper Tiger that NATO has become. Iran, North Korea and China must be watching with extreme pleasure. The entire Muslim world is awakening and demanding Democracy and we may not see another chance like this in our lifetimes. Yet our President drifts aimlessly and his leadership is completely non existent. These are truly sickening days.
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# Tracy 2011-04-22 22:55
We are grateful for both Tim and Chris' work. We are the better for it. They died too young but, they died doing the work they were meant to do! We are sadened by their loss.
Michael please take special care of yourself. We need you to continue as the voice of the war-fighters and the local people too. With appreciation,
Tracy and Robert
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# Linda Osburn 2011-04-23 00:19
I am thankful to all the men and women of the USA that put there life on the line regardless of their chosen field so that we and others can be free. I am thankful to the other countries that fight to protect their own from terrorist and strive to have a better way of life. I pray for you all!!
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# Marc 2011-04-23 04:58
Michael, not only are Chris and Tim's contributions invaluable, so are yours. The world needs to know! So please keep yourself safe and keep 'em comin Brother! May God watch over all three of you and those who follow.
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# Robert Burrichter 2011-04-23 14:21
Praise the LORD for those who run to the sounds of battle with a camera or a weapon. May they rest in peace with Jesus.
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# Christian Gains 2011-04-23 17:01
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend"...the HIGHEST accolades for both these men is truly due! and, you Michael, deserve a mighty GOD BLESS YOU! and, rest assured HE will!
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# jed 2011-04-24 07:29
This is so touching.

One of the reasons why I can't leave the business despite the hardships!

God bless Misrata!
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