Beirut 30th Observance Media Advisory

SoldierBeirut Veterans of America

News Release

For More Info:   Randy Gaddo, 678-350-8642
Media: This document can be downloaded in either Word or PDF format.

For Immediate Release

Veterans/Family Groups Remember Fallen Heroes 30 Years Later

Remembrance Will Be Held Oct. 22-23, 2013 at Beirut Memorial, Jacksonville, N.C.

The Beirut Veterans of America (BVA) and The Beirut Connection will remember fallen heroes who were killed 30 years ago on October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon.  On that day, a terrorist truck bomb exploded in a barracks, killing 241 servicemen, mostly Marines and some Sailors and Soldiers, and injuring many others.

The Remembrance also honors the service of those who participated 55 years ago during the 1958 Beirut landing and scores of other servicemen who died and were wounded in Beirut during 1982 through 1984. A total of 270 were killed in Beirut and hundreds more injured during that time frame.

The 1983 bombing was the most serious terrorist act against Americans ever experienced at that time and a precursor of what was to come.  Parallels have been drawn between it and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  It has been confirmed that some of the same terrorists were involved in both.

The BVA is a veteran’s group formed in 1992 to ensure that the servicemen killed in Beirut are always remembered.  The Beirut Connection is a group of families who joined together soon after the bombing to mourn their deceased men in Beirut and have stayed together since.

The groups will mark the 30th Remembrance October 22-23 at Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, N.C., home of the Beirut Memorial.  The memorial includes a wall with the names of all those killed during the Marine “peacekeeping” mission in Beirut, Lebanon from 1982-84 and during the Grenada rescue mission. In all, 273 gave their lives in the name of freedom there, and many others were injured, some permanently.

The 30th Remembrance will feature a private candlelight vigil at the Memorial at 6 a.m. on October 23rd, where all the names on the wall will be read aloud by family members and fellow service men and women.

“Reading their names aloud ensures that these men are remembered for their courage and their sacrifice,” says Bob Jordan, a retired Marine Corps major and the founding president of the BVA.  This sentiment echoes the BVA motto, “The First Duty is to Remember.”

At 10:30 a.m. on the 23rd, there will be a special ceremony held at the Memorial, featuring guest speakers, military band music, a memorial wreath presentation.  A senior officer from Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. will be dispatched by the Commandant of the Marine Corps to speak at the event.

President Ronald Reagan first sent Marines to Beirut in 1982 to assist in the evacuation of 600 civilians from 2 dozen countries out of Beirut when political unrest made the area unsafe.  Some small Navy and Army units were attached to Marine units.   Later, they helped see to the safe evacuation of Yassar Arafat and his 15,000-man PLO army from Beirut.

Marines were called in again as part of a multi-national peacekeeping force to try and keep the peace while Lebanon’s government had a chance to reform after the assassination of President Bashir Gemayel.  Meanwhile, President Reagan authorized a successful military intervention to rescue American students threatened by a communist regime in Grenada.  The unit that was on ships heading to Beirut to relieve the Marine unit decimated by the bombing was diverted to carry out the Grenada mission.

The Beirut deployment started quietly, but gradually hostilities among the many warring factions in Beirut drew the Marines into increasing levels of involvement.  The hostilities peaked with the truck bombing and continued until President Reagan withdrew the forces in 1984.

Marines had also been sent to Beirut in 1958 on a similar mission, but one that ended without a similar turn of events as in the 1982-84 deployment. That deployment is credited with delaying the Lebanese civil war for almost two decades.

Those interested in more information or photos about the Marines in Beirut can go to the official BVA website at

Note to BVA and Family Members about this News Release:

This news release is provided for BVA members who may want to go to their local news media to tell them about the upcoming 30th Remembrance.  This document gives you something to take to the media and leave with them for reference; download either the Word or PDF copy, print the first two pages and take it with you.  It provides basic information about the 30th Remembrance.  You may also refer media to the BVA website at for more information.  If you are a Beirut vet or family member, you may want to consider telling your own story as it relates to the Beirut operations from 1958 through 2006.  By so doing, you help carry on the BVA motto: The First Duty Is To Remember.

19 Responses to Beirut 30th Observance Media Advisory

  1. Reinhild Huneycutt says:


    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – The 30th Beirut Observance Ceremony will be held at the Beirut Memorial on Wednesday, October 23, at 10:30 a.m.
    The special ceremony will honor the fallen service members and survivors who served in Lebanon from 1958 to 1984 and in Grenada.
    General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, is scheduled to deliver the Beirut memorial address.
    Uniform for Marine attendees is Service A with Garrison Cover and appropriate attire for civilians. The general public is welcome to attend. Parking for this event will be at the Veterans Cemetery.
    In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the Trinity United Methodist Church.
    The Marine Corps League will hold a public Beirut Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony at the special Beirut Marker at Camp Geiger at 2:00 p.m.
    There will also be a private Candlelight Service for Beirut Veterans and family members at 6:00 a.m. at the Beirut memorial site.
    Parking for attendees will be at the NC Veterans Cemetery adjacent to the memorial.

    • Stephen Fletcher says:

      Question about Uniform of the Day (UOD). Can veteran members of the Marine Corps League wear their MCL Uniform? and would that be Casual Dress version?

  2. Mrs. Doreen Sundar says:

    I am a spouse of one of the “fallen” Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune. Can you confirm the timeframe of the entire ceremony so that I can make appropriate reservation, i.e. Oct. 23, 2013 am to pm to include any additional gathering for that day. Thank you.

    • Bill Thompson says:

      Mrs. Sunder,
      If you follow this link to the June/July issue of the Root Scoop II, you will have the latest information for the ceremonies and additional gatherings for Oct 23rd. I also recommend that you check back here often for any updated info that will be getting posted.

    • Anthony Steephens says:

      Mrs Sundar my name is Anthony Stephens and ws a very good friend of Devon. Please contact me at i would rally like to talk to you. He really was like a brother to me. I know that you two married before we left for Beirut.

      Hope to hear from you

  3. Ted Mikita says:

    ANNAPOLIS, MD 18 OCT 2013
    Don Woollett, First Lieutenant USMC, is being honored on the weekend of 18 October 2013 by his USNA 1980 Shipmates of 19th Company. At 1400 there will be a memorial service in Memorial Hall, upstairs from the rotunda in Bancroft Hall, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

  4. DANNY JOY says:

    Mrs Sundar,
    Doreen, I was with your husband at Wpns Co 1-8 “Dragons”.
    I have several photos of Devon as do other Marines who will be attending the 30th Remberance.
    I beleive Devon was from Conneticut/Jamica/… not sure.
    Devon was the last Marine I talked to from the BLT as he was getting into an AMTRAC after a resupply to our position at the University. I will never forget his smile. Please email call me at: USMCJOY@YAHOO.COM
    (267) 234-3211.

  5. After the candle light event on the morning of 23 October, 2013 I will be walking ‘The Last Two Miles’ of ‘A Walk to Remember’. This will be a self-paced stroll when I will walk mile 272 & 273 to close out my memorial effort to all the Fallen listed on the memorial.

    For additional information please contact me directly at

    With all due respect & Semper FI d2

  6. David W. Burgess says:

    I am a Beirut Vet but not a BVA member,may I still attend the ceremonies?

  7. Antonio E. Banchs says:

    The United States Embassy in Beirut will be conducting a commemoration ceremony beginning at 1600 hrs local (0900 hrs EST) on 23 October where the Ambassador and the Defense Attache’ will give remarks, we will have current, former, and retired military members read the 241 names, and then will lay a wreath at the United States and United States Marine Corps flagpoles on the compound.

  8. Jason Cooper says:

    My brother Stanley G Hester was there. Anybody that knew him or may have pictures with him while in Beirut, please bring them. My mother and my 3 kids, who never met their uncle, will be there with me. #RIPHeroes

  9. stephen deans says:

    is it to late to join the banquet dinner?i believe on the evening on the 22nd?

  10. nikki burdine says:

    Anyone know of any Kentucky Marines who were in Beirut? My father, Colonel Miles Burdine, was there. I am now a reporter in Kentucky and would like to do a story to remember those Marines, but I need to find a Kentucky connection. Thank you. Please email

  11. Rich Cassidy says:

    I was not in Beruit, but with the USMC during that fateful day. I will never forget my brothers who gave their lives in the name of FREEDOM. I will have my flags at half staff and will do so for the entire night.

    3RD MAW 78-84

  12. Did my best to do a little tribute see it at my channel to the lost and the wall that imorlializes them

  13. J l reed usmc says:

    My brothers I love you lost mt brother in law. I was there to replace him. Damn it bad marine.

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