(NEW YORK) — Khizr and Ghazala Khan have found themselves in the headlines this week following Khizr’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Here is what you need to know about this Gold Star family.
Who Are the Khans?
Khizr and Ghazala’s son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was in Iraq in 2004.
The Muslim-American soldier had enlisted in the ROTC at the University of Virginia and served a four-year tour in Iraq before being assigned there indefinitely, according to his Arlington Cemetery memorial page.
In June 2004, Khan was killed by a suicide car bomb at the age of 27 after ordering his fellow soldiers to “hit the dirt.” He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Humayun Khan had emigrated with his family from the United Arab Emirates at the age of 2 and had hoped to become a military lawyer. He was one of 14 Muslim-American soldiers killed in action in the decade after 9/11, according to a release from the Democratic National Convention Committee.
The Convention Speech
Khizr Khan spoke about his son’s sacrifice in his brief address to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, July 28. The grieving father also had a pointed message for the Republican presidential nominee.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America,” Khan said, referring to Trump’s proposed Muslim plan.
As Khan continued his speech, he addressed Trump directly, telling him, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump responded to Khan’s speech.
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard,” he said. Trump also questioned why Ghazala Khan remained silent throughout her husband’s speech, suggesting that “maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
Trump’s comments have sparked backlash from both political parties. In a letter to the Republican candidate, the families of 11 fallen service members have demanded an apology for Trump’s “repugnant” and “personally offensive” remarks. Ghazala Khan has defended her silence, telling ABC News she was too upset to speak.
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