In just a few moments, Olympic Stadium will take center stage, and the eyes of the world will be focused on the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The ceremonies promise to be a sight unlike any we have seen before, making it a truly iconic moment in Olympic history.
It was during these few moments of global concentration that two Israeli widows were hoping to honor the fallen members of Israel’s 1972 Olympic team, but instead, International Olympic Chief, Jacques Rogge has denied their plea.
The widows had presented the IOC with a petition supported by more than 100,000 signatures, asking for a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremonies to reflect upon the horror that transpired under the Olympic flag that flew over Munich, Germany, in 1972. Between the petition, the widows, and the historic significance, this should be the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the 11 Israeli Olympians who were killed after being isolated and kidnapped by a group of Palestinian militants
Unfortunately, Rogge does not feel the same way.
Rogge did not ignore the fact that these Summer Games mark the 40th anniversary of the Olympics worst moment, setting up three different times that the terrorist victims would be paid tribute. IOC’s Director of Communication, Mark Adams says that the committee “will never forget what happened” pointing to the three different ways in which the 11 athletes would be commemorated.
The widows say they are appreciative, but that the time to remember the Israelis is when the eyes of the world are watching, and they are not the only ones to feel this way. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent a letter to the IOC supporting the widow’s request. Unfortunately, just as quickly as the women found support, they also were met with further opposition, when the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, backed the IOC’s decision.
It is unfortunate that the Olympic Committee is missing this opportunity. What happened in Munich in 1972 is no less a tragedy than what happened here in the States on September 11th. Terrorist attacks strike at the heart of a people, threatening the lives of our families and friends. Whenever there is a chance to stand in the face of the enemy and show that we have not forgotten, and that we are not afraid, it should be jumped on.
The widows have it right. People all over the world will be tuned in to watch the Games begin, and there is no better time to remind the world that we, as a global collective, do not forget our fallen brothers and sisters, and that we will never stop fighting for what we believe is true and right.
The IOC is making a horrible mistake in not honoring those that have lost their lives in the fight against terrorism. The recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado have served to remind us that life is fragile and that we must take every opportunity to honor the sacrifices that are made for our freedoms.
This is why tonight, when the Ceremonies are under way, the widows have asked the world to stand and join them in a moment of silence, with or without the IOC’s approval.
Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or subscribe to Jeff Everette-RantSports.com on both Facebook and Google+ for all of his latest articles, opinions, and rants.
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