Washington, DC – August 7, 2018, marked the 20th anniversary of two East African U.S. Embassies being bombed in a coordinated attack. The bombings injured thousands and killed 224 people. Of those killed, 12 were American and two had ties to Maryland, prompting Congressman Steny Hoyer (D- MD 5) to issue a statement on the event.
The statement remembers the lives of Julian L. Bartley Sr., 55, his son Julian ‘Jay’ Bartley Jr., 20, and liaison officer Jean Dalizu, 60. About the three deceased, Hoyer stated that “Two families from Maryland lost loved ones in these attacks.”
Arlingtoncementary.net outlines Bartley Sr. and his son’s lives. Both rest in the cemetery per a waiver signed by then-President, Bill Clinton. Bartley Sr. was a career diplomat with 27 years of experience and served in many different cities around the world. His son, Julian Bartley Jr., traveled with his father and was a student at the United States International University in Nairobi in addition to interning at the embassy at the time it was bombed. During his time stateside, Bartley Sr. lived in both Northern Virginia and Bowie..
A Washington Post article from Aug. 10, 1998—three days after the attack—elaborates on the life of Jean Dalizu whose daughter lived in Silver Spring at the time. Dalizu was an executive assistant in the Kenya-U.S. liaison’s office. She’d lived in Kenya since 1972, long enough to proclaim herself as Kenyan while haggling with merchants trying to take advantage of her. Her children made their way back to the U.S. and told the Washington Post that Dalizu longed for things from America.
Hoyer ended his statement pronouncing, “On this somber anniversary, let us pay tribute to all who serve our nation as diplomats overseas, often amid conflict and danger, and the families who travel with them and make enormous sacrifices to ensure that our country is represented abroad and can remain safe at home. Congress must keep faith with those who perform this work and who serve us so ably in the practice of American diplomacy.”
The CIA’s website outlines the event, stating that the terrorist organization al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombings and that the event marked a “watershed in the evolution of the September 11th plot.” The attack placed Usama [or Osama] Bin Laden on the U.S. public’s radar and elevated him into the FBI’s ten most-wanted fugitives’ list. According to the CIA, the event persuaded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — “principal architect of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks” — to “truly commit” towards a strike on the United States. Mohammed was captured in 2003 and, according to the New York Times’ Guantanamo Docket, is still being held in Guantanamo Bay.
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