CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Jacksonville and the Beirut Memorial Advisory Board will hold the 34th annual Beirut Memorial Observance Ceremony on Monday at 10:30 a.m.
The ceremony will take place at the Beirut Memorial site at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens and is open to the public.
The special ceremony will honor the fallen service members and survivors who served in Lebanon from 1958 to 1984 and in Grenada.
II Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General, Lt.Gen. Hedelund is scheduled to deliver the memorial address.
There will be three wreaths laid during the morning ceremony, each portraying its own significance. The first will be laid by the City of Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips along with II Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund to honor the unique connection of our military and civilian communities in Jacksonville. The 8th Marine Regiment Executive Officer Lt. Col. Adam N. Barborka and Sgt. Maj. Jason K. Jones will lay the second wreath to commemorate the lives of our men lost in Beirut and Grenada. Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford, Marine Corps Installations East, MCB Camp Lejeune Commanding General, and Marine Corps Air Station Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Director of Safety, Maj. Brent W. Spoor will lay the third wreath which will commemorate the lives of our local servicemen killed in training accidents.
During the Lebanese Civil War, a non-Lebanese terrorist truck driver drove his truck which was filled with compressed gas explosives into the living quarters of Multinational Forces in Beirut on October 23, 1983. The 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment Headquarters building exploded and collapsed killing 245 USMC members, 20 US Navy and 8 US civilians. Many of those killed lived in Jacksonville, NC.
The Beirut Memorial site at Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens was completed and dedicated on October 23, 1986. There are 273 names on the memorial wall of those who were killed during the incident.