FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2022
Survivors of Israel’s strike on USS Liberty commemorate 55th year
Survivors of the brutal Israeli attack on the American communications vessel USS Liberty in 1967 will gather at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. on June 8 to commemorate the memories of 34 Americans killed on that day 55 years ago.
The group’s gathering at the USS Liberty group burial site will be part of a four-day reunion of survivors, their family members and supporters at the Holiday Inn Arlington, Virginia from June 6-9. Five sailors and one Marine are buried in the group grave.
While patrolling in international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was savagely attacked without warning or justification by air and naval forces of the State of Israel.
Of a crew of 294 officers and men, including three civilians, 34 crew members were killed in action and 173 were wounded. Survivors of the attack insist that the attack was unjustified and that the Israelis knew the ship was American, but the attack has been covered up and the survivors have been abandoned by the U.S. Military which has sought to brush the tragedy out of history.
Survivor Joe Meadors said the Israeli attack was unprovoked and that the Liberty was clearly identified as an American vessel flying the American flag.
He said the U.S. response was to abandon the American soldiers during the attack and to disparage survivors and their claims rather than stand with them.
“In 1967, LBJ ordered the USS Liberty to be abandoned by Sixth Fleet aircraft while we were still under attack and calling for help. That order cost the lives of 25 of our shipmates,” Meadors said.
“The order to abandon us is being obeyed until this day with a devastating effect on USS Liberty survivors.”
Survivors have demanded a full and open investigation that has been rejected by every commander, president and the Congress.
“The Department of Defense has ignored its obligation under its own Law of War Program. Members of Congress have refused to include facts from USS Liberty survivors in their boilerplate responses,” Meadors said, noting the United States has officially abandoned the American veterans who were killed and the survivors.
“No Member of Congress has ever attended our annual memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery on the anniversary of the attack. We are condemned as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘bigots’ simply because we have been asking that the attack on the U. S. S. Liberty be treated the same as every other attack on a US Navy ship since the end of WWII. All we have is ourselves. Not Congress. Not the Navy. Not the DoD. Just ourselves. We need a place where we are welcome. We need our reunions.”
Survivor Ron Kukal, Supervisory First Class Communications Technician, said the survivors have always hoped that one day the U.S. would acknowledge the true facts of the attack instead of marginalizing and covering up the attack.
“From day one I have always felt that the LVA holding together might just someday save this whole nation from itself, for your family and mine,” Kukal said.
“After all that is what the Liberty Veterans Association is all about, and that would be the truth.”
Kukal said that the Liberty survivors have been disparaged, insulted and denounced by pro-Israel activists and abandoned by the U.S. Military.
“How is it possible that considering three fourths of the crew had a Top Secret Clearance, we would all gather together after the attack, and suddenly become racist?” Kukal asked.
“Do you know what it took to get that clearance? Well, one of things you had better not be, was a racist. Need I say more? They would have known if any of us were, and we would not have gotten that clearance. I think they knew my grandmother’s address in Prague, before she came here. Now that is thorough.”
Survivor Moe Shafer said that despite the effort to bury the incident in history by Israel and the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress, the memory of the attack against the Liberty and its shipmates continues.
“The Liberty is about fellowship with each other and honoring our fellow shipmates and most importantly honoring our fallen shipmates,” Shafer said.
“Spending an afternoon together at Arlington National Cemetery for our memorial service. The greatest honor is to be with those who we have grown to love over the last 55 years!! We urge other Americans to come and join us on June 6 at Arlington National Cemetery and demand that attack be fully investigated and exposed.”
Survivor Phil Tourney said that the patriots who served on the U.S.S. Liberty are demanding just and believe that true patriots will support them in getting the truth out.
“We are depending on the truth facts from patriots like you. Thank you, my young college friend, facts matter. We have been in this fight for our murdered shipmates most of our lives,” Tourney said.
“Survivors have been wounded and scarred forever by the treason from our own government. They wanted us on the bottom for political gain for Israel and the USA, period.”
Tourney said that he is shocked that after serving in the military honorably and with patriotism that he and others have been attacked for seeking the truth of the incident and justice for the survivors.
“Thus, the best held secret in American history by the Congress, turned their cheek at treason then and now. How deep does it go?” Tourney asked saying the tragedy has placed a heavy burden on all of the survivors and families of those who were killed.
“The public can help set us free and lift a heavy burden. Americans can overcome anything together, no matter if you have served or not. Facts, the truth are sacred. God saved us for this moment.”
The USS Liberty 55th Anniversary Reunion will be at the Holiday Inn Arlington, Virginia June 6 through June 9. No registration fee. Book your room by calling 703-243-9800 ask for the USS Liberty Room Rate. The banquet will be held on June 8, 2022.
U.S. Congressman Pete McCloskey will be honored along with the USS Liberty crew.
For more information on the U.S.S. Liberty visit www.USSLibertyVeterans.org.
For more information Contact:
Joe Meadors at [email protected]
Moe Shafer at [email protected]. Cell 770-363-3986
Keep Up to Date on the Effort of USS Liberty Survivors to Honor Our Fallen Shipmates by Persuading Congress to Investigate the Israeli Attack on Our Ship by Subscribing to our Blog Updates. https://bit.ly/3zU8nDf