- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
EDITORIAL: Olympic silence
Victims of terrorism should be remembered at the London games
Question of the Day
A moment of silence is currently creating a clamor. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is resisting a proposal for Friday's opening ceremonies in London to remember the 11 Israeli athletes killed in Munich 40 years ago by Palestinian terrorists. The committee should reconsider.
The 1972 Munich Olympics were a watershed in the quadrennial games. Politics had long played a role in this international sporting event, but never with such brutality. The fact that the slain athletes were Israelis may play an uncomfortably large role in the IOC's decision-making, but fear of complaints from Israel's enemies should not prevent the committee from doing the right thing.
On Monday IOC president Jacques Rogge tried to calm the situation by offering an impromptu memorial to the slain athletes at the Olympic village. "I would like to start today's ceremony by honoring the memory of 11 Israeli Olympians who shared the ideals and have brought us together in this beautiful Olympic Village," he said. This did little to dampen the controversy. Ankie Spitzer, widow of Israeli coach Andre Spitzer, shot back, "We asked for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony, not for someone to mumble something in front of a few dozen people."
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have both called on the IOC to reverse course. NBC announcer Bob Costas plans his own moment of silence during the network's coverage of the opening ceremony. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he intends to "note that the IOC denied the request" for a memorial, and plans to say, "Here's a minute of silence right now."
There is precedent for this type of observance. At the 1994 Lillehammer winter games there was a minute of silence for the people of the former Olympic city of Sarajevo, then in the grip of a deadly siege. At the closing ceremonies for the 1996 Atlanta games, then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced a moment of silence to remember the victims of the Centennial Olympic Park terrorist bombing, as well as the slain Israelis, saying "No act of terrorism has ever destroyed the Olympic movement and none ever will."
One of the most poignant commemorations came during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. A large, tattered flag that had been unearthed from the rubble of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was slowly carried around the stadium then raised as the official United States flag for the games. The IOC had tried to block this solemn moment three days earlier. The president of the Salt Lake organizing committee, Mitt Romney, issued a statement saying he "respectfully disagreed" with the decision then demanded a meeting with Mr. Rogge to discuss it. Mr. Romney emerged from the three-hour conference and announced that the flag would appear at the opening of the games.
That same year, Mr. Rogge said, regarding a proposal to honor the victims of the 1972 terrorist attack, "I have no reservations about doing more in the future." Ten years later it is fair to ask whether the future has arrived.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- EDITORIAL: Mr. Monkey's business in merry old England
- EDITORIAL: A new witch hunt in Salem
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mexico's problem is poverty
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ready for a libertarian awakening
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
Get Breaking Alerts
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote