World Leaders Call for Moment of Silence During London Olympics
As the world looks forward to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, many have called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recognize that this year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the darkest days in sports history. During the 1972 Munich Olympics, Palestinian terrorists known as “Black September” attacked and killed 11 athletes and coaches from the Israeli Olympic Team.
Currently, a Move.org petition calling on the IOC to formally hold a Minute of Silence at the 2012 London Olympics has over 81,000 signatories. The U.S. Senate has joined the supporters with resolution that passed unanimously yesterday, urging IOC to mark one minute of silence during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. “The Munich tragedy was an outrageous attack against innocent athletes and against the unifying spirit of the Olympics,” said co-sponsor of the bill Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “Observing a moment of silence at the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, when the world’s attention is focused on this symbol of international cooperation and peace, would pay tribute to the slain athletes and coaches and would send a powerful message of unity in the fight against terrorism.”
Republicans and Democrats passed the bipartisan resolution in a cooperative force that is spreading.
Eager to support the cause, the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle penned a letter yesterday to IOC President Jacques Rogge, asking him to dedicate a moment of silence. Last week, Canada’s House of Commons adopted a motion to support the moment of remembrance. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird phoned Rogge personally to express his support. Australians lent their voices as well, with roughly 100 lawmakers, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, voting in favor of a motion for the moment of silence. The expressions of solidarity from around the world are a reminder of the sense of unity the Olympics are meant to symbolize, something that was tarnished during those dreadful days in the summer of 1972. The IOC must do the right thing and dedicate a moment of silence. Not because they were Israelis, but because they were Olympians.
The bi-partisan resolution’s Co-sponsors included Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) Jeff Blumenthal (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), James Inhofe (R-OK), Herb Kohl (D-WI), James Risch (R-ID), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Scott Brown (R-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Carl Levin (D-MI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Robert Casey (D-PA), and John Boozman (R-AR).