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10-18-08, 09:40 AM
Camp Lejeune and the city of Jacksonville to honor fallen service members at 25th Beirut Bombing Obs

News Release
Published: October 17, 2008

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - “They Came In Peace.” An observance ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Beirut bombing is scheduled to be held at the Beirut Memorial located in the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens Oct. 23 at 10:30 a.m.

The special ceremony will feature guest speakers, wreath presentations and a time of remembrance for families, friends and fellow Marines to honor the fallen service members and survivors who served in Lebanon from 1958 to 1984 and in Grenada.

Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, is scheduled to deliver the Beirut memorial address.

Uniform for active-duty Marines in attendance is Service “A” (with garrison cap). The general public is welcome to attend and parking for this event will be at the Veteran’s Cemetery across the street from the memorial.

The Marine Corps League is also scheduled to hold a wreath laying ceremony at the Beirut Marker at Camp Geiger later that day at 2 p.m.

There will also be a private Candlelight Service for Beirut Veterans and family members at 6 a.m. at the Beirut memorial.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the Trinity United Methodist Church.


10-22-08, 07:58 PM
'It's 25 years later, and it's still no easier'
Families mourn loved ones lost in Beirut bombing
October 22, 2008 - 8:08PM
The Jacksonville Daily News

Sgt. Kevin Coulman's family was getting ready for church the morning of Oct. 23, 1983, when they heard about the bombing at the Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.

Lorraine Coulman said she initially didn't associate the news with her son. But another woman at church was upset. And Bryan Coulman, one of Kevin's four brothers, just knew.

The first time the Marines came to the Coulman home, they were wearing green uniforms. They told them Kevin was missing. The second time, they were wearing dress blues.

Coulman was among the 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers who died in the suicide attack on the 1/8 headquarters building.

"It's 25 years later, and it's still no easier," said Kevin's brother, Christopher Coulman.

Mary Ellen Jackowski and her family were at their vacation home in upstate New York that October morning. "When the clock radio went on and the news announcer said there was a bombing in Beirut at the headquarters building, I knew immediately that it was Jamie's building," Jackowski wrote in a letter to The Daily News, referring to her son, Cpl. James Jackowski.

The family went home immediately, since that was the emergency number and address in Jackowski's file. When they arrived home, a letter was waiting from their son.

"He told us that he was going to leave on Oct. 22, so we both had a glimmer of hope that maybe he left before the bombing," Mary Ellen Jackowski wrote. But they soon learned their son's leave had been bumped.

The Jackowski family also had two visits from the Marines. The first time, they told the family that Cpl. Jackowski was missing. The second time, "they told us that Jamie was officially identified and that he died in the terrorist attack," Mary Ellen Jackowski said. "My only memory was that I asked them if there could be any mistake. I wanted to know if they were absolutely sure."

Sarah Wherland was only a year old when her father, Cpl. Burt Wherland, was killed in the blast. Her mother didn't tell her much about her father when she was growing up, but she is trying to gather as much information as she can now.

She does have some letters he wrote from Beirut - a peek into his personality and sense of humor - and his burial flag. It was unfolded long ago, but will be formally refolded today after the 10:30 a.m. remembrance ceremony at the Beirut Memorial.

"For so long, he's just been disregarded, like he didn't exist," Sarah Wherland said. "He's already been disrespected so much; I thought bringing it here and having it refolded, with the right amount of respect (is important)."

The Coulman family - like the hundreds of others who lost a loved one that day - can never forget Oct. 23, 1983. But they wish others were more aware of the tragedy that took the man Rob Coulman said was "more like my dad than my brother."

"If you needed a person to look up to, that was him," Christopher Coulman said.

"He was always teaching us right from wrong, good from bad," Rob said, overcome with emotion. "They took the wrong people. They took a lot of good people."

General Conway, current CMC, as well as General Gray, former CMC will be at the ceremony which starts at 1030 hours tomorrow morning.


10-23-08, 05:48 AM
Marines mark 25th anniversary of Beirut bombing

Associated Press - October 23, 2008 4:15 AM ET

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway will deliver the Beirut memorial address marking the 25th anniversary of the Beirut barracks bombing.

The speech Thursday at the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens will be followed by a wreath laying and a private candlelight service.

Almost 250 American serviceman - including 220 Marines - were killed when two truck bombs struck the Marine barracks in 1983. Another 60 Americans were injured.

The Marines were part of an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon. The attack is the deadliest single-day death toll in Marine Corps history since the Battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.


10-23-08, 03:09 PM
Statement by the President

White House News

Twenty-five years ago a suicide bomb destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. We remember the 241 American Marines, soldiers, and sailors who lost their lives in that attack, and we pay tribute to their families and loved ones. The U.S. forces in Lebanon were serving as part of the Multinational Force working to bring peace and security to that country, torn by years of civil war.

On the anniversary of this unconscionable attack, we honor the memory of those brave servicemen and women through our commitment to succeeding in the war on terror. We express our gratitude to those serving abroad to protect America and promote peace and freedom around the world. And we reiterate our strong support for the voices of moderation and justice in Lebanon.