Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey on Tuesday apologized to the mother of a Navy SEAL killed in Ramadi, Iraq, for saying the city’s fall last week to ISIS “is not symbolic in any way.”
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Dempsey issued the apology after Debbie Lee, whose son, Marc, died in Ramadi in 2006, released an open letter demanding an apology for “the families whose loved ones’ blood was shed in Ramadi.”

“I’ve read your letter, and I do apologize if I’ve added to your grief,” Dempsey wrote. “Marc and so many others died fighting to provide a better future for Iraq. He and those with whom he served did all that their nation asked. They won their fight, and nothing will ever diminish their accomplishments nor the honor in which we hold their service.” Dempsey wrote Lee in a personal note.