Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Remember, They Came in Peace Tree

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On a crisp autumn day, 25 years ago, Americans awoke to the awful news that 241 service men had been killed by a suicide bomber at the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. This tree is dedicated to their memory.


Decorated by the Beirut Veterans of America (BVA), each ornament, a Patriotic Dove of Peace inscribed with the words "They Came In Peace" carries the name of a young man or woman who lost their lives while serving as Peace keepers between 1982 and 1984. There are 270 ornaments adorning this tree.


It is sobering to have a visual reminder of the number of lives lost while on a mission to bring peace and stability to an area ravaged by war. Each one of these doves represents the most precious of gifts an American family can give for this country.


The motto of the BVA is: "The First Duty is to Remember". I was randomly drawn to particular doves or groupings of doves, so I will display all of those photos. 25 years ago, hundreds of families spent the holiday season in grief for the loved one whom they would never see again while others spent it supporting their surviving loved ones recovering from injuries. These names belong to children, siblings, lovers, spouses, parents, friends, may we remember them and be thankful for our own children, siblings, lovers, spouses, parents and friends. Every day we have with them is a gift to be treasured.


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Merry Christmas and sweet dreams.

3 comments:

Bill Short said...

WELL DONE !!!!
I want to THANK-YOU for Remembering us Beirut Vets. I had the privilege of being there Oct
18. The Dinner, the Bar, The Beirut Memory Wall and the LONG Ceremony that followed was GREAT!
MARRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SHORTY
Beirut Veterans of America

RangersGirl said...

Hey Bill, did I happen to meet you? I was there also and took a bunch of pictures. I sat with some very nice gentlemen at dinner.

Samantha West said...

Ranger's Girl,
Thank you for this post and photos of the magnificent tree. I wanted one of the ornaments very badly and found them for sale at the Beirut Veterans of America website http://www.beirutveterans.org/bvastore/product_list_new_category_1.htm I'm ordering a few now and even if they don't get here by Christmas I'll have them forever to put on my tree.