US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi Tuesday night, along with three other State Department staffers.
He became the country's new ambassador in May 2012, but he was hardly a new arrival to the recently liberated nation. Stevens played a crucial role in assisting with the transitional council from March to November 2011 and was the Deputy Chief of the Mission from 2007 to 2009.
In her statement Wednesday morning, his boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke movingly of Stevens's commitment to helping a free and democratic Libya take shape.
"In the early days of the Libyan revolution, I asked Chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition," Clinton said in her remarks Wednesday morning. "He arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi and began building our relationships with Libya’s revolutionaries. He risked his life to stop a tyrant, than gave his life trying to help build a better Libya. The world needs more Chris Stevenses. I spoke with his sister, Ann, this morning, and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations."
"I was thrilled to watch the Libyan people stand up and defend their rights," Stevens said in the video.
He drew comparisons between the struggles of the Libyans and the history of his own country.
He cheered the large numbers of Libyan applicants to study in the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship--more than any other country in the world--and expressed hopes that partnerships between the two countries would help improve the Libyan healthcare and education systems.Right now, I'm in Washington, preparing for my assignment. As I walk around the monuments and memorials that commemorating the courageous men and women who made America what it is, I'm reminded that we too went through challenging periods. When America was divided by a bitter civil war, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln had the vision and the courage to pull the nation together to help us move forward toward a shared vision of peace and prosperity.
"I look forward to watching Libya develop equally strong traditions of government [as the U.S. has]," he said. "I look forward to exploring [the] possibilities with you as we work together to build a free, democratic, prosperous Libya."