POLITICS

Effort To Name Post Office After Capt. Humayun Khan Moves Forward, Again

An earlier bill to honor the fallen U.S. Army captain mistakenly renamed the wrong post office.

After some legislative fits and starts, lawmakers are again in the process of honoring the memory of Army Capt. Humayun Khan by naming a post office for him in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Congress signed off on a piece of reworded legislation on Friday, ever so slightly tweaking a bill originally passed in December 2018 to name a post office on the University of Virginia campus after the fallen soldier.

Unfortunately, that bill, authored by former Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.), mistakenly attempted to rename an independently operated contract postal unit ― a legal no-go ― instead of an official outpost run by the U.S. government.

The new version, sent along by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday, changes the location to an official post office near the original. The Senate passed the revamped bill in early March. President Donald Trump will still need to sign off on the changes for them to become official.

Khan, a Muslim American soldier killed at age 27 in Baqubah, Iraq, in 2004, was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he was the only University of Virginia graduate to be killed in action during the Iraq War.

The gravesite of Muslim American U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 1, 2016.
The gravesite of Muslim American U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 1, 2016.

“Captain Khan is revered not only in Charlottesville, but across the nation,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in a statement after the original bill was signed in 2018. “With the dedication of this post office, we’re showing the Khan family that we’re forever grateful for his service and sacrifice for our country.”

Humayun’s parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, rose to prominence in 2016 after Khizr denounced then-candidate Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric in a fiery speech at the Democratic National Convention, challenging Trump to read the U.S. Constitution.

Instead of responding to the content of the speech, Trump reacted by smearing Ghazala’s silence throughout. (Ghazala later said she’s unable to speak of her son’s death without breaking down in tears.)

“I want [Trump] to know that this is not only his America; it belongs to all of us, same dignity, same respect, same rights as any other American,” Khizr said afterward on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” explaining what motivated his speech. “That is the beauty, those are the values that make this country, make us move forward, make us think so passionately about the well-being of this nation.”

In a later statement, Trump called Capt. Khan “a hero” but doubled down on his call to bar Muslims from entering the United States.

CONVERSATIONS