Despite the recent bombing of the United States Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, the Shaker band’s scheduled trip to Istanbul this spring will proceed.
On Feb. 1, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside a personnel entrance to the U.S. Embassy killing a Turkish guard and himself while injuring others. The Embassy is approximately 280 miles from Istanbul, the band trip’s destination.
Freshman Evan Pascarella, who plans to go with the band to Turkey said, “I don’t think it’s [the bombing is] going to affect the trip in any way.” Pascarella thinks the distance between the two cities is great enough as to not pose a safety threat, which is why he is not worried.
After the bombing and the murder of an American tourist in Turkey, Principal Michael Griffith sent a letter to families of students going on the trip. In the letter, Griffith wrote, “Based on what we have learned to date through considerable research, we believe the trip should proceed.” Griffith said tourism in the areas the band will visit is proceeding normally. On Feb. 1, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey issued a statement declaring that Turkey is safe for Americans. Griffith quoted the ambassador’s statement in his letter.
Griffith wrote that the trip will be canceled if the situation in Turkey changes or if administrators receive new information and conclude that the trip should be canceled for safety reasons. Griffith then noted that, “Arranging an alternate trip with this many people is not feasible.”
“The letter that they sent out encouraged me,” said Caroline Weingart, a parent of a student participating in the band trip. Weingart plans to attend the school-affiliated shadow trip with her family. When she first heard that the U.S. embassy was bombed, Weingart admitted she was very nervous. However, she said, “I trust [that administrators] are going to keep us safe.”
A version of this article appeared in print on 20 february 2013, on page 3 of The Shakerite.