Remembering Ambassador Chris Stevens
By Erica Burman on Monday, December 3rd, 2012
In the weeks since Ambassador J. Christopher “Chris” Stevens (Morocco 1983-85) was killed, the National Peace Corps Association has been — and continues to be — in conversation with members of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) community interested finding ways to honor his legacy. (See our post about the memorial service and the J. Christopher Stevens Fund here. See our announcement of his death here. See Letter from Morocco – My Journey to Ouaouizerth: A Volunteer remembers Chris Stevens by Melanie Kondrat (PCV Morocco) published in the Winter 2012 issue of WorldView magazine.)
On Friday, Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet asked us to share this message with the wider Peace Corps community.
Dear Members of the Peace Corps Family:
I recently met with Ambassador Chris Stevens’ sister, Anne, to offer condolences and support on behalf of the Peace Corps community. Her graciousness and her desire to help further the important bridge-building work of her brother is both moving and inspiring.
In response to your petition, I committed to keeping you informed about the dedication of the Ambassador Stevens photo in History Hall of Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. We were originally thinking that we would have a dedication ceremony in mid-December at the same time as the State Department memorial service for Ambassador Stevens. We heard from Anne Stevens yesterday that the State Department service will take place in May 2013, when the Secretary of State will dedicate a star to Ambassador Stevens in a special ceremony. Therefore, she requested that we wait until May for our History Hall dedication ceremony so that the Stevens family can attend the event. We will provide you with further information in the new year.
In the meantime, Anne Stevens has asked us to share the following message:
“Our family is touched by the outpouring of support from the RPCV community, and we are hearing a common thread – that RPCVs want to do something to honor Chris’s commitment and contributions to cross-cultural understanding. While there are many ways to further the ideals of peace and understanding that were so important to Chris and, inarguably, to all of you who decided to serve your country in the Peace Corps, our family has an “ask” for you: Please make a pledge to share a piece of the knowledge and understanding you gained as a Peace Corps Volunteer with our young people here in the U.S. Whether you served in Morocco or Burkina Faso, Jordan or Mongolia, Peru or Vanuatu – you have a gift that you can pass along to those of us who will never know firsthand the men and the women and the children of the places you served. Whether you speak in a classroom, a library, a board room, or a coffee shop, we hope you will get out and do this one thing to help strengthen our human connections and promote a better understanding of other cultures.
We have learned from the Peace Corps that Peace Corps Week 2013 will take place February 24 – March 2, 2013. While any time of year is a good time to pay peace forward, we hope you will pledge to make your mark on bridging the human divide by committing to a Third Goal activity here: https://www.peacecorps.gov/
We are so grateful for the Stevens family’s support for Peace Corps’ Third Goal and hope that all of you who are interested in honoring Ambassador Stevens will consider how you can carry out his legacy during Peace Corps week in late February – and beyond.
Thanks for your continued commitment to the Peace Corps.
Acting Peace Corps Director
RPCV Western Samoa ’81 – ’83
We join with Peace Corps in our condolences to the Stevens family, and in our determination to continue bringing the world home, one conversation at a time.