Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Honoring Beirut Veterans


October 23, 1983, terrorists struck the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, crashing an explosive laden truck into the building. According the the Beirut Veterans of America site, this was the largest non-nuclear explosion recorded. It is said that this was the opening salvo in the Global War on Terror.

It was a shock to Americans and President Ronald Reagan, who had sent the U.S. Marines to be Peace keepers.

Permanent gallery space will not be devoted to the Beirut Marines until Phase 2 of the museum is completed. The Heritage Foundation is currently in the midst of fund raising . So far, a little over $10 million has been donated. Another $75 million is required.

In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the bombing, a temporary panel display honoring those Marines was officially opened today. They were installed two weeks ago, my photos are not very good. A Beirut veteran was at the museum that day. He had been spared, thanks to having perimeter security duty. The photos and narrative on the wall brought a flood of memories back to him as he began telling his wife and the our Guest Services Manager, Pat, his story.

This Saturday, there will be a Symposium on the event, at the museum. I have my ticket to attend.

The panel display, made possible by the generous donation of H. Furlong Baldwin, Chairman and Director of the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. and Marine.

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