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SCOTT M. STRINGER
July 23, 2012 Count Jacques Rogge President International Olympic Committee Château de Vidy Case Postale 356 1001 Lausanne Switzerland Re: Moment of Silence to Commemorate Terrorist Attack on 1972 Munich Olympics Dear President Rogge, I write today to urge that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) honor the victims of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich with a moment of silence during the Opening or Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London. On the 40th Anniversary of this dark day in Olympic history, let us stand together in peaceful solidarity as a global community to remember the fallen and rededicate ourselves to the creation and preservation of a world at peace. In previous Games, IOC Presidents have made profound public statements during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies to acknowledge the horrors of terrorism and the resiliency of the Olympic movement and human spirit. At the Closing Ceremony of the 1996 Games in Atlanta, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch denounced the Centennial Olympic Park bombing and asked for a moment of silence to remember the victims of both that attack and of the Munich massacre. He declared, “No act of terrorism has ever destroyed the Olympic movement and none ever will…More than ever we are fully committed to building a better, more peaceful world in which forms of terrorism are eradicated.”1 In 2002, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on my home city, you lifted the spirits of our grieving nation during the Opening Ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Games, stating, “Your
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/05/us/atlanta-games-a-celebration-for-197-nationsclose.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/sports/olympics/daily/aug/05/close5.htm; http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-0805/sports/1996218103_1_olympic-movement-olympic-ideal-atlanta-olympics. MUN IC IP AL B UILD ING y 1 CENTRE S TREE T y N EW YOR K, N Y 10007 P H O N E ( 2 1 2 ) 6 6 9 -8 3 0 0 F A X ( 2 1 2 ) 6 6 9 -4 3 0 5 ww w. ma n h at ta nb p .o r g b p @ ma n h a tta nb p .o r g
nation is overcoming a horrific tragedy, a tragedy that has affected the whole world. We stand united with you in the promotion of our common ideals, and hope for world peace.”2 At that same ceremony, a special delegation carried the tattered American flag that flew over the World Trade Center during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.3 These fitting gestures of remembrance were not grounded in politics. They were rooted in the spirit of common humanity that the Olympics have long embodied. While we all come from different continents, cultures, and creeds, we are all equal on the fields of play. More importantly, we understand that while we proudly cheer for our nation’s athletes during the Games, we are not defined by our differences, but by what we all share in common, among which is the desire to create a peaceful, just, and prosperous planet for all. The terrorist murders in Munich in 1972 were not just attacks on athletes from one nation or one religion. They were a grievous assault on the Olympics themselves – on the spirit of unity and cooperation that has defined the modern Games for decades. A moment of silence at this year’s Opening or Closing Ceremonies would offer a fitting reminder that just as the dark cloud of terrorism knows no national bounds, neither does the triumphant spirit of the Olympic Games. We applaud you for attending memorial services on the 25th and 30th anniversaries of the Munich attack and respected your decision to observe a moment of silence on behalf of the fallen Israeli athletes during a recent trip to the Olympic Village in London. However, the fact remains that the only appropriate way to honor and mourn those who died is on a truly global stage during the Opening or Closing Ceremonies—events watched by over 1 billion people worldwide—not during a tour of the Olympic Village or behind closed doors at private receptions in London. A meaningful commemoration of the attack during the Ceremonies would be a powerful statement of our commitment, now and forever more, to remember those that we lost and to honor the values they cherished. Sincerely,
Scott M. Stringer Manhattan Borough President