SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Family, friends and colleagues gathered at San Francisco City Hall Tuesday to honor the life of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed last month.
Stevens, 52, died along with three other Americans in an attack by extremists at the U.S consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11.
Stevens’ sister, Anne Stevens Sullivan, said he “set the standards for our family really high.”
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
She said she “saw the magic of the Middle East through his wide, optimistic eyes.”
Stevens graduated from Piedmont High School and the University of California at Berkeley and traveled the world, first with the American Field Service and the Peace Corps, then eventually in various roles with the federal government. He became the ambassador to Libya in May.
Another sister, Hilary Stevens Koziol, said she “always bragged that I had a brother in a foreign country” and followed in his footsteps by also joining the Peace Corps.
Mayor Ed Lee began the memorial with remarks praising Stevens’ life.
“While we have lost a true hero for this country, his accomplishments and generosity live on in all of the places he has served,” Lee said.
Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Suleiman Aujali expressed his condolences about Stevens’ death.
“You sent us one of your best diplomats … and unfortunately we were not able to protect him,” he said.
Stevens was a protégé of former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who has been appointed to review the Benghazi attack. Pickering was reportedly planning to attend the memorial as well.
Another memorial for Stevens is planned later this fall in Washington, D.C., according to his family.
Donations can be made to the J. Christopher Stevens Fund on http://www.rememberingchrisstevens.com, a website set up by the family.
The fund will help build bridges between the U.S. and the Middle East by promoting religious tolerance, educational youth exchanges and other programs.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)