BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The White House is investigating whether the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a planned terrorist strike to mark September 11th.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was among four Americans killed. The violence has shaken many, including a prominent western New Yorker who once served as an ambassador overseas.
Anthony Gioia of Buffalo, who once served as U.S. ambassador to Malta, said when an ambassador is killed, it is the equivilent of an assault on America.
"A U.S. ambassador is the personal representative of the President of the United States, and when you kill an ambassador, you're really having a direct attack on the president and obviously, our country. So, it's a terrible thing," Gioia explained.
He had major concerns about terrorism when he became ambassador at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Malta is not far from Libya, which was no friend of the United States at the time.
Gioia said, "We had some concerns, obviously. Any embassy, particularly at that time, any ambassador became a target."
The deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans who were killed have had a major impact on the family of South Buffalo native John Granville. He was a diplomat serving in South Sudan, when he was shot to death.
His mother, Jane Granville, said, "I thought of what these poor families are going to have to go through. It's a never ending heartache."
His sister, Katie McCabe, added, "Every day we wake up and feel an empty part of us missing him, wanting him to come home."
Jane Granville had always been concerned about his safety, but knew he was fullfilled in the humanitarian work he was doing.
"I console myself every day, and I'm sure it will be the case with these families. I console myself every day knowing that John was doing what he loved," she said.
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