Chris Stevens Remembered at Public Memorial
At Tuesday’s presidential debate, the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi raised heated questions about security and terrorism. But in San Francisco, the memory of slain Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was evoked in another way: as a loving brother and friend, as well as a devoted diplomat. About 1,500 people came to a public memorial service at San Francisco City Hall.
Ambassador Stevens had deep Bay Area roots, from his days at Piedmont High School to law school at UC Hastings. His siblings remembered him as a prankster who could convince them to do anything. His family and friends called him humble, thoughtful, and a man of integrity, who traveled the world but always came home.
Diplomatic colleagues praised his “people-first” approach. Libya's ambassador to the US, Ali Aujali, apologized for his country's failure to protect Stevens and the others killed in the attack. "We lost a friend, we lost a supporter and we lost a hero," he said. "Chris Stevens is a hero and he is part of Libyan history and the revolution. We will never forget him."
Stevens' former boss, Thomas Pickering, said he was among the best the US had to offer. Pickering has been appointed by the State Department to investigate the circumstances of Stevens' death. Christopher Stevens was the first ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.