Legacies of Beirut and Pearl Harbor
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  1. #1
    Phantom Blooper
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    Legacies of Beirut and Pearl Harbor

    Legacies of Beirut and Pearl Harbor By
    Published: Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 09:15 AM.


    While comparisons between the attacks at Pearl Harbor and on 9/11 may be more common, local residents also can draw interesting parallels between the Japanese attack on U.S. forces in Hawaii in 1941 and the terrorist bombing of Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.
    The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which used hijacked jetliners to hit New York and Washington, D.C., surely own a special place in infamy. Pearl Harbor and Beirut, however, also align in many noteworthy ways from a local perspective, and not all of them are negative.
    Like the bombing in Lebanon, the attack in Pearl Harbor occurred on a Sunday morning, on Dec. 7, 1941, exactly 73 years ago today. Americans were shocked when they received the news of the devastating blow, which left more than 3,600 Americans casualties — 2,404 killed, including 69 civilians; destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft; and sunk four ships. The United States was thrust into the middle of World War II.
    During a period of relative peace, Americans at home also were devastated by the deadly attack on Marine forces in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983. The news spread quickly that dreary Sunday morning in Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune, which served as home base for most of the 241 service members killed when a suicide bomber drove a truck filled with explosives into the Marine barracks at the international airport.
    Just as Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into World War II, the Beirut bombing was the opening salvo in a new kind of war — a war on terror still being waged against Islamic jihadists.
    As related by military historian Kim Kimball in a Daily News article last year, Pearl Harbor led to the rapid construction of Camp Lejeune, filling the need of a major military installation on the East Coast.
    While the Marine Corps had identified the site on the New River as a strategic location for a Marine base, the sudden U.S. entry into a world war made immediate construction imperative. “Camp Lejeune would have been built regardless of Pearl Harbor happening, but the speed at which it was built was a direct result of the attacks in Hawaii,” Kimball said.
    Military implications of Beirut, beginning with the attack itself, likewise have been significant for local bases. Marine units have been instrumental over the past 30 years as the United States has attempted to root out terrorists and their sponsors in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.
    The war on terror led to the activation of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in 2006 with a new wave of construction of facilities at Camp Lejeune.
    Just as Americans rallied behind their troops after Pearl Harbor, with Allied forces eventually securing a victory that has shaped the modern world, the Beirut bombing served as the catalyst for a new era of improved military-community relations in Onslow County.
    Jacksonville came of age as a military community after Beirut, just as America had assumed its role as the preeminent world power after Pearl Harbor.

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  2. #2
    Mongoose
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    Good post Chuck.


  3. #3
    God bless you Chuck and all my Beirut Vet Brothers

    Semper Fi


    Stephen Doc Hansen HM3 FMF


  4. #4
    Marine Free Member thegimprider's Avatar
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    After Israel pulled out of Beirut US Marines were ordered to support Lebanese Army, a clear violation of neutral status. ROE was only changed for Embassy support, it remained no loaded weapons at airport. Clear to all marines at the time was the desire of Pentagon to obtain a high body count in order to spark a war. Unlike Pearl Harbor we really had no mission in Beirut. There was no mission statement and no real plan. America reacted with that very question, What in the world were they doing there?


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