A group of entertainers and journalists led by actors Dudley Moore and Bruce Willis are urging the nation to remember that nine Americans face another Christmas held hostage in Lebanon. "Say a prayer, light a candle, send a letter, tie a yellow ribbon - do something. Show the hostages that we care," Moore, co-chairman of the Operation Hostage Freedom committee, said in a statement in New York.
The committee is the brainchild of Leonard Saffir, president of the Overseas Press Club of America, and Peggy Say, sister of Terry Anderson, The Associated Press' chief Middle East correspondent who was captured on March 16, 1985. Anderson has been held longer than any other American hostage.In Lebanon on Monday, kidnappers holding U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins said in a statement they have sentenced him to death for alleged spying for Israel. Higgins has been held since Feb. 17. "It would seem that some Americans care more about whales than nine of their fellow citizens held hostage," Saffir said. "Let's save our whales and our hostages, too." The group plans a series of newspaper advertisements and public service radio announcements to publicize the hostages' plight.
Other celebrities on the committee include Woody Allen, Phil Collins, Hank Williams Jr., Randy Travis, Reba McEntire and Chet Atkins. Journalists supporting the effort include Bill Foley, a photographer for Time magazine, and Don Mell, an AP photo editor who was with Anderson when he was abducted. Besides Anderson and Higgins, the American hostages are Thomas Sutherland, Frank Reed, Joseph James Cicippio, Edward Austin Tracy, Robert Polhill, Alann Steen and Jesse Turner.