Two Florida Panhandle congressmen want a formal commemoration of the killing of three sailors in Pensacola by a Muslim terrorist.
Rep. Matt Gaetz and Neal Dunn recently submitted a letter to President Joe Biden asking that American flags be flown at half-mast on Dec. 6, 2022, as a “National Day of Remembrance” for Ensign Joshua Kaleb, Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters, and Airman Mohammed Haitham.
The three were murdered on Dec. 6, 2019, by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force officer who was in the U.S. as a military exchange student. He was also identified as a radicalized Islamic extremist with direct ties to al-Qaeda.
Eight others were wounded in the shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Law enforcement officers killed Alshamrani during the shooting.
“This attack on our homeland by a foreign terrorist was unconscionable. The survivors and surviving family members of those who lost their loved ones live each day with pain in their hearts. This pain is especially poignant on the anniversary of that tragic day,” Gaetz and Dunn wrote.
Annually, they noted, Gov. Ron DeSantis observes this “brutal attack” by ordering flags flown at half-mast on state properties and federal reservations. DeSantis does this in “remembrance honoring the victims, survivors, and surviving family members.”
“This powerful annual observance allows the survivors, surviving families, Floridians, and all Americans to take a moment of reflection and has helped in the healing of all who still suffer scars, visible and invisible, of this terror attack on our homeland,” the lawmakers wrote to Biden.
That asked Biden to do likewise “on behalf of the survivors and surviving families of this national tragedy.”
“This action will be of great comfort to all who lost a loved one or suffered trauma that day and who struggle to find peace,” Gaetz and Dunn wrote.
“An attack on one American by foreign terrorists is an attack on us all. It is time we demonstrate national solidarity on the anniversary of such an attack. We thank you for your consideration and look forward to discussing this further with you, at your pleasure.”