Honoring the Heroes in the 1979 Attack on the U.S. Embassy Islamabad (November 20)
Forty years ago, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, was attacked and nearly burned to the ground by a violent group of protesters. Today, we honor the four members of the Embassy team killed in that tragic event: two Americans – a Marine Security Guard and an Army Warrant Officer – and two Pakistani staff members, all of whom died while heroically assisting their colleagues. Contemporaries tell us the number of victims would have been much higher were it not for the bravery of our diplomats, Marines, and Pakistani staff, who fought off armed attackers and took extraordinary measures to save lives. Some of the Embassy officers on the compound that day went on to assume senior national security roles, and I know they were inspired by the service and sacrifice they witnessed on November 21, 1979. On this solemn occasion, we offer our sympathies to the families of the victims and pledge to honor their memory.