The 23rd of October; ‘Our first duty is to remember’
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  1. #1
    Phantom Blooper
    Guest Free Member

    The 23rd of October; ‘Our first duty is to remember’

    The 23rd of October; ‘Our first duty is to remember’
    10/19/2010 By Pfc. Christofer P. Baines, Headquarters Marine Corps

    ARLINGTON, Va. — Veterans, families, friends and various dignitaries gathered under blue skies at section 59 in Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 17 to remember their loved ones and brothers in arms.

    Since 1984, the remembrance ceremony has been an annual event of sorrow and celebration for the men who gave their lives during a peace keeping mission in Beirut.

    At approximately 6:22 a.m., on Oct. 23, 1983, an Islamic terrorist drove a yellow delivery truck into the lobby of the Marine Corps barracks at Beirut International Airport. The vehicle exploded with a force equivalent to 12,000 pounds of TNT, destroying the building and killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers. Additionally, 58 French paratroopers were killed in a separate attack just two minutes later as they were mobilizing to assist their fellow service members.

    “Most of our countrymen probably believe this global war on terror started on 9/11,” said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway. “I don’t believe that for a moment. I believe it started in October of 1983 when we first saw a significant strike on the young men – Marine, Navy and Army, who were in that building in Beirut.”

    During the ceremony, families of the fallen were called forward to lead everyone in the pledge of allegiance. Leaders, dignitaries and veterans spoke about the courage and sacrifice of all who were affected by the tragedy. Furthermore, the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment of Mount Vernon High School laid white roses on the graves of those who died that day. To conclude the ceremony, a remembrance wreath was placed by the memorial stone next to the Beirut Cedar tree in section 59.

    “We hope you will be consoled in the knowledge that others remember, you are not forgotten and never will be,” said Carmella LaSpada, executive director of the White House Commission of Remembrance. “Love has brought us together today, a love for those we honor, and a love for our nation.”

    This year, numerous guest speakers, including 28th commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Paul X. Kelly, 29th commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Alfred M. Gray, Jr., and Lebanese Ambassador Antoine Chedid were present to recognize the sacrifices of the veterans and their families, fulfilling the promise that they will never be forgotten.

    “They lost their lives while in a peace keeping mission,” Chedid said. “I’m here to pay tribute to them for their bravery. They paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace. Twenty-seven years later, their memory is still in our hearts.”

    For the Marines, sailors soldiers who were there, the memory will forever remain etched in their minds.

    Craig Renshaw, president of Beirut Veterans of America, said it’s important to remember the lives of the men who died that day. Most Marines knew at least one person who died. For them, the memory is going to be there forever, but it’s up to the chapters, those who were affected and a younger generation to remind others what happened when we suffered the first blow in the war on terror.

    “Remembrance is not letting the memory of the guys who gave their lives be forgotten,” he said. “It’s all about them.”’.aspx

  2. #2
    Marine Friend Free Member USNAviator's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Glen Allen, Virginia

    Thank you for posting this. Was it really that long ago? As you know we have a mutual friend who was very prominent in this. And I was on my first deployment on the CV Kennedy when we were ordered to Beirut to lend any and all help to the Marines

    My God that seems so long ago yet looking back sad..To all those fine young Marines who were murdered on that day, rest in peace

  3. #3
    Phantom Blooper
    Guest Free Member
    2/8 Marines to honor the fallen at Beirut Memorial

    October 23, 2010 1:41 AM


    Most of the Marines participating in the Beirut memorial ceremony Thursday weren’t even born in 1983, when a terrorist attack on a Marine barracks in Lebanon killed nearly 300 peacekeeping troops from Camp Lejeune.

    But Fernando Schiefelbein, action officer for the base, makes sure they understand the significance of the Oct. 23 anniversary and treat their task with reverence. At the first of two rehearsals for today’s ceremony, he sat the young Marines down for a preliminary briefing that explained the event’s importance, as well as where to stand and when to salute.

    “Don’t take anything lightly while we’re rehearsing,” Schiefelbein said. “We’re here, first of all, because of our fallen brothers.”

    He also told the Marines to be attentive to the families of those killed in the Beirut bombings, many of whom travel from across the country to be at the ceremony every year.

    “For them, you are a part of their family,” he said. “That’s the kind of people you have here. You need to respect everyone, and if you need to break protocol, so be it.”

    The troops in this year’s memorial ceremony are from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, representing the Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment who were attacked in Beirut; 1/8 is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Master Gunnery Sgt. Barry Bartasavich watched the troops rehearse on the grounds of the Beirut Memorial.

    “Just having them here, looking around, they can feel it,” he said.

    Bartasavich said he believed it was an honor for 2/8 to represent their fallen brothers from 8th Marines.

    “I think it shows that we have not forgotten,” he said. “And I think that’s the key thing. We’ll never forget.”

    Mike Ellzy and Ron Bower, members of the Beirut Memorial Commission, have assisted with the remembrance ceremony since they helped to build the Memorial in 1986. Memories of Oct. 23, 1983, are still sharp, they said.

    “I just remember everybody was in shock,” Ellzy said. “Everybody knew somebody who had been killed.

    “It was eerily quiet.”

    Twenty-seven years later, Bower said the anniversary for him was a chance to reconnect with and care for the family members who found their way back each year.

    “That’s been really gratifying,” he said, “to be a part of the healing process.”

    The Beirut Memorial ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Beirut Memorial in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens at the entrance to Camp Johnson. The event is open to the public.

  4. #4
    We Shall All Remember This Day, God Bless Them All and Care For The Families.

  5. #5
    Phantom Blooper
    Guest Free Member
    Hundereds gather to remember those lost in Beirut bombing

    October 23, 2010 5:55 PM

    Marine Cpl. Terry Moore spent Oct. 22, 1983, on night patrol in downtown Beirut, exchanging fire with the enemy. He finally got a chance to grab some shut-eye at the Beirut Library in the early morning hours of the following day.

    Rack time for a Marine in Lebanon was often interrupted by bad news of the next mission, but the then-21-year-old Tennessee native never imagined he would awaken to the most devastating experience of his life.

    At 6:20 a.m. Oct. 23, 1983, a terrorist drove a truck packed full of explosives into a barracks building at the Lebanon Airport, killing nearly 300 American and French troops, most of them from Camp Lejeune.

    Twenty-seven years later, hundred of veterans, family members and dignitaries gathered Saturday at the Beirut Memorial in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens at the entrance to Camp Johnson to honor the members of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment who were attacked. The 1/8 is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    A second, more intimate ceremony was held aboard Camp Geiger later in the day at the spot of the original Beirut Memorial.

    Today, Moore said, he doesn’t talk much about what he witnessed in the aftermath of the explosion, but he drives 10 hours from Chattanooga every year so his children can watch the Beirut Memorial Ceremony.

    “I want to pay tribute to my fallen comrades,” he said. “I tell my children that the names on this wall are real heroes and we should respect them. That is what Americans do, we remember our fallen.”

    Before and after Saturday’s service, several surviving loved ones traced their fingers over names etched into the stone wall at the Beirut Memorial in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens at the entrance to Camp Johnson.

    “I told him ‘don’t come back a hero, got it?’” said Evi Cox, the widow of Marine Sgt. Manny Cox.

    She said she had just given birth in a New Jersey hospital when she saw the news that hundreds of Marines were dead in an explosion.

    A chaplain and a warrant officer came to speak with her and she knew immediately that she had lost her husband.

    “I had just spoken to him early that morning,” she said. “I told them ‘go away, not him!’”

    She said doctors gave her a sedative, but the warrant officer was still waiting for her when she regained consciousness.

    “I wish I was in Jacksonville when it happened,” she said.

    The tragedy of that day and the days following helped solidify a community.

    Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips said his city will never forget the Beirut bombing. He said the tragedy brought Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune together in a “durable bond” that has helped both through tough times.

    Jacksonville is the most military-friendly city in America, Lt. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, told a crowd of several hundred during the memorial service Saturday.

    “We didn’t have the family support system we do now,” he said of the days following the bombing. “It was this town that kept the base together.”

    Hejlik said that in 1983 he was a captain in a unit training at 29 Palms, Calif., to replace the 1/8 in Lebanon.

    “We were stunned,” he said of learning the news.

    Hejlik said the Marines who died were doing their jobs, that the real heroes were the family and loved ones left behind.

    He asked for a show of hands of family who lost someone in the bombing.

    “That’s the heroes right there,” he told the crowd, who responded with a standing ovation.

    Hejlik said Marines are the first to help those in need. In recent years, Marines responded the earthquake in Haiti and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

    But attack a Marine and the Marine will respond, he said.

    “We will never forget the cowards who did this,” he said, adding the Marine Corps was bloodied that day, but it was not defeated.

    He said Americans must remember tragedies like the Beirut bombing and renew their resolve in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    When Hejlik finished his speech, a gentle breeze picked up and leaves swirled around the memorial as the Brewster Middle School Choir sang in tribute.

    The gathered crowd fell quiet as Marines placed wreaths at the memorial wall. A 21-gun salute shattered that silence followed by the 2nd Marine Division playing “Taps”.

    “We gather today to remember the Marines and sailors who lost their lives that day in Beirut, Lebanon,” E.A. Perry, Sr., pastor at Bethel Word Ministries prayed during the ceremony’s invocation. “We also pray that peace will be established throughout the world to truly honor those we remember today.”

  6. #6
    I am looking for brothers that served with Charlie Battery 1st Bn 10th Mar 24th MAU.
    Primarily during the time of the barracks bombing. C 1/10 has started a group on FB and would like for all that served in Charlie to come aboard.

  7. #7

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