9 Things You Need To Know About The Khan Family

The Khan family has been in the national spotlight after Khizr Khan, the father of fallen soldier Capt. Humayun Khan, tore into GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention. Trump has responded by taking some senseless swipes at the family, and dug himself quite a hole in the process.

Here are nine things you need to know about the Khan family.

1. Humayun's parents, Khizr and Ghazala, are originally from Pakistan. Humayun, the middle child, was born in the United Arab Emirates and moved with his parents to the U.S. at a young age. The family at first lived in Boston, MA and then moved to Maryland. Khizr Khan is currently an immigration lawyer.

2. Khizr Khan spoke out against Trump's proposed Muslim immigration plan in December. "It’s the values [of this country] that brought us here, not our religion," Khan told Vocativ. "Trump’s position on these issues do not represent those values."

Shortly thereafter, eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton quoted Khizr Khan and highlighted his son's story, eventually leading to Khan's speech at the DNC.

3. Humayun had a big heart and loved to help people. Ghazala wrote about her son in The Washington Post, "Humayun was always dependable. If I was vacuuming the house and he was home, he would take the vacuum from my hand and clean the house. He volunteered to teach disabled children in the hospital how to swim. He said, 'I love when they have a little bit of progress and their faces, they light up. At least they are that much happy.'"

Ghazala also wrote that Humayun – whose goal was to become a military lawyer – felt like he needed to serve in Iraq for a second tour because "it was his duty."

The last time Ghazala spoke to Humayun was on Mother's Day in 2004; she pleaded that he not "go running around trying to become a hero."

"Mom, these are my soldiers, these are my people," Humayun responded. "I have to take care of them."

4. Capt. Khan died from a suicide car bomber. On June 8, 2004, a vehicle with two Iraqis in the front approached the gates of the U.S. military base Humayun was serving in. He ordered his fellow soldiers "to get down." Humayun approached the vehicle with his arm outstretched, and then the Iraqis set off the bomb that ended his life.

5. Humayun was revered by his fellow soldiers. A profile in The Daily Beast revealed just how highly Humayun's comrades thought of him. "All the soldiers loved him," Sgt. Laci Walker told The Daily Beast. "He was just so good, and everybody looked up to him."

Walker said that when she learned that Humayun had died in the explosion, she "puked [her] brains out."

Former Army Pfc. Vanessa Brenes-Ramirez said that she viewed Humayun as her "protector" and that when Humayun died, she had "never seen so many people cry. Grown people. I mean hitting the floor crying." She continued:

A sergeant who had been present at the blast told her that Khan had been a protector to the end.

“[Khan] told everybody, ‘Get down!’” she would say. “He sacrificed himself.”

She would also say, “He was our hero.”

And she would say, “We all would have done that. All of us. That’s how the Army is. You don’t look at what religion somebody is. Or where they are from.”

And she would say, “If Capt. Khan could pay the ultimate price, I could too.”

6. After his death, Humayun was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Which makes the Khan family a Gold Star family.

7. Humayun is currently buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

8. Ghazala still has difficulty being in a room where there are pictures of her son. In response to Trump's charge that she didn't speak at the convention because of her religion, Ghazala responded:

I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?

9. The pocket constitution that Khizr Khan unveiled at his speech is one that he carried around for a long time. His respect for the Constitution must have extended to Humayun, who loved Thomas Jefferson and learning everything he could about him.


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