Visitors Pay Tribute to Humayun Khan at Arlington Cemetery | NBC 7 San Diego
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Visitors Pay Tribute to Humayun Khan at Arlington Cemetery

"He was willing to step up and save the lives of men who were different skin color, who were different religions"



    Visitors to Arlington National Cemetery are leaving fllowers at the grave of Capt. Humayun Khan, whose parents are speaking against Donald Trump's candidacy for president. Trump has said he has a right to defend himself against criticism by the gold star parents. News4's Chris Gordon reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 1, 2016)

    As the parents of fallen Army Capt. Humayun Khan continue to voice their concerns about Donald Trump's candidacy for president — and Trump defends his remarks about them — visitors to Arlington National Cemetery are paying their respects where Khan was laid to rest.

    Several people visited Khan's grave on Monday, leaving flowers at his headstone while Khan's service to the country is at the heart of a national debate.

    Jake Dowell, of Chicago, went to the cemetery with his family to visit his grandfather's grave. When they learned about Khan, they wanted to honor him too, Dowell said.

    "He was willing to step up and save the lives of men who were different skin color, who were different religions. Because they were American, he was willing to sacrifice his life for them," Dowell said. "He just acted upon his patriotism."

    "He's an American hero. He served this country, died for this country," Dowell's father, Anthony Dowell, said. 

    D.C. resident Sally Schwartz visited Khan's grave on Monday with her mother.

    "To go and see this captain that had sacrificed so much, it was really moving," she said.

    Khan, a Muslim from Bristow, Virginia, was on tour in Iraq when he was killed by a suicide bomber on June 8, 2004. He was 27. Khan posthumously received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

    He rose to national attention again last week, when his parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, appeared at the Democratic National Convention. In an emotional speech that received rapturous applause, Pakistan-born Khizr Khan asked if Trump had read the Constitution, and said if it were up to Trump, his son never would have been American or served in the military.

    "Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery?" he asked. "Go look at the graves of brave Americans who died defending United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.

    "You have sacrificed nothing and no one," Khizr Khan said to Trump.

    Trump disputed that. He said Saturday on ABC's "This Week" that he had given up a lot for his businesses.

    "I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures," he said, while also suggesting Ghazala Khan might not have been allowed to speak while she was on stage at the DNC. 

    Trump's campaign later issued a statement calling Capt. Khan a hero but said Khizr Khan had no right to intimate Trump hasn't read the Constitution. That prompted further rebuke from the Khans and many more, including other military families and President Obama.

    On the "Today" show, Khizr Khan said he was grateful for all the support his family is receiving.

    "The good thing out of all this has come that there has been so much love, so much courtesy, so much support. I am just amazed," he said. "My belief in the goodness of America is reaffirmed."