This essay reflects on the life and service of late U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, also known as J. Christopher Stephens, and focuses on his roots as a Californian. Stevens is best known as the ambassador who died in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. The essay examines geographical perspective and orientation, the emotional effects of differing topography, the meanings of “here” vs. “there,” and “home” vs. “away.” In particular, the essay reflects on the orientation of Ambassador Stevens in terms of his place in the world. To those at home he was going away from the center of his world. To those he worked with in the Middle East he came to the center, which was where he knew he needed to be.

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