POW/MIA Remembrance Day
(Third Friday of September)
Thousands are still missing
From those Wars of the past
Slowly, some are coming home
To grieving Families, at last.
Some found in unmarked graves
On foreign lands across the sea
With the science of DNA
To reveal, their true identity.
JPAC was formed to find them
Around fourteen hundred, to date
And for loved ones seeking closure
It surely, never is, too late.
They think, forty thousand left
They might be able to recover
As they follow leads and tips
From, one country to another.
Some remains, may be lost forever
Like those Heroes, resting in the Deep
But, to bring those others home
Is a solemn promise, we must keep.
It's a very noble thing they do
As, they go, and search, and find
Those, who died for our Country
For, we must, leave no one behind.
Every year we have a special day
To, remember those still lost
To, renew that promise to them
No matter what, it may cost.
Del "Abe" Jones
Media: For More Info: Randy Gaddo (770) 629-2613 or (770) 631-2542
For Immediate Release
Veterans/Family Groups Remember Fallen Heroes 25 Years Later
Beirut Remembrance Will Be Held Oct. 23, 2008 in Jacksonville, N.C.
Families and fellow service members will honor fallen heroes who were killed 25 years ago on October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. On that day, a terrorist truck bomb exploded in a barracks, killing 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers and injuring many others.
Thousands will attend the 25th Remembrance October 23, 2008 near Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, N.C., home of the Beirut Memorial. The memorial includes a wall with the names of American service men killed during the multinational "peacekeeping" mission in Beirut, Lebanon from 1982-84 and during the Grenada humanitarian rescue mission in October 1983. In all, 273 gave their lives in the name of freedom and peace there between 1982-84 and many others were injured, some permanently.
The city of Jacksonville, N.C. and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune have facilitated the Remembrance each year since 1984.
The Remembrance also honors the service of those who participated 50 years ago during a similar 1958 Beirut operation.
At the time of the 1983 bombing, it was the most serious terrorist act against Americans ever experienced, and a precursor of what was to come. Parallels have been drawn between it and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Some of the same terrorists were involved in both.
The 1,000-member Beirut Veterans of America is a veteran's group formed in 1992 to ensure that the service men 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 25th Remembrance will feature a candlelight vigil at the Memorial at 6 a.m. on October 23rd, where all the names on the wall will be read aloud.
"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." "For just that brief moment, they walk again among us," said Jordan.
At 10:30 a.m. on the 23rd, there will be a special ceremony held at the Memorial, featuring guest speakers, military band music and attended by hundreds of family and fellow service members.
President Ronald Reagan first sent U.S. military services 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. Later, U.S. Marines 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 February 1984.
U.S. service members had also been sent to Beirut in 1958 on a similar mission, but one that ended without a similar deadly turn of events as in the 1982-84 deployment. The 1958 deployment is credited with delaying the Lebanese civil war for almost two decades.
Those interested in more information or photos about the U.S. in Beirut can go to the official BVA website at www.beirutveterans.org.