Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Beirut Barracks Bombing

On October 23, 1983, 299 American and French servicemen were killed in a truck bombing in at the Beirut International Airport.  The troops were part of the Multinational Force (MFN) which was created in 1982 after the Lebanese government demanded assistance as the Palestinian Liberation Army  evacuated the Levant during the decade long Lebanese Civil War.  

Smoke cloud from the bombed barracks at the Beirut International Airport, Oct. 23, 1983

Suicide bombers from the Iranian backed fundamentalist Shi'ite Islamic Jihad group exploded truck bombs on the soldiers' barrack.  The first explosion killed 220  Marines, 18 Sailors,  3 soldiers, and injured 120 Americans.  Minutes later, a second truck bomb at the French barracks killed 58 paratroopers, 5 civilians and injured 25 civilians and soldiers. 

A Monument to their sacrifice of the Beirut Bombing Servicemen was dedicated at Marine Base Camp Lejeune in 1988.  However, at the request of the Beirut Families, a bronze that displayed Robert A. Gannon's poem "The Other Wall" was added. 

The 30th anniversary was commemorated world-wide as was evidence at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan.

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