June 6, 2012

Speaker Silver and Assemblyman Lavine Call for
Munich Olympics 40th Anniversary Tribute

In a letter to the International Olympic Committee, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Charles Lavine along with a bipartisan group of legislators today called on the organization to reconsider its rejection of an official commemoration of the events at the 1972 Olympics in Munich that left 11 Israeli athletes and coaches dead.

"This summer marks the passage of a profoundly significant milestone, the passage of 40 years since the Munich massacre," said Silver. "It is long past time for the International Olympic Committee to recognize this tragedy and pay tribute to the lives lost, honoring the feeling of international community the Olympics aim to foster."

"The officially-sanctioned tribute we request is an appropriate and honorable gesture, befitting this anniversary," said Lavine. "In this case, as in so many, silence on the issue speaks volumes. We ask for the committee to raise their voices and reconsider their rejection of an official commemoration."

"The continued refusal of the International Olympic Committee to officially commemorate this powerful and hateful event sends a message that runs counter to their core tenets of teamwork, collaboration, and international cooperation," said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee. "A sanctioned observation would befit this anniversary and pay the deserved respect to those whose lives were lost by the senseless acts of terror in 1972."

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski joined their call to action, "Forty years ago, the tragic events in Munich sent an appalling message of hate to the world. We call upon the Olympic Committee to respond to that message with one of unity."

The letter was co-signed by a bipartisan group of legislators including 56 members of the Assembly and 20 Senators.

The 2012 summer Olympic Games will host delegations from around the world and pay tribute to the tenets of sportsmanship, teamwork, community and compassion. This commemoration would complement those events and strengthen the bonds that unite us all as citizens of a global community.

Click here to view the signed letter to the International Olympic Committee