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They Came in Peace. On March 24, 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received orders to Beirut, Lebanon in.

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Presentation on theme: "They Came in Peace. On March 24, 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received orders to Beirut, Lebanon in."— Presentation transcript:

1 They Came in Peace. On March 24, 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received orders to Beirut, Lebanon in support of that commitment. In the summer of 1982, at the request of the Lebanese government, the United States agreed to establish a U.S. military presence in Lebanon to serve as a peacekeeping force in the conflict between warring Moslem and Christian factions. [The Marines will]….. provide a presence in Beirut, that would in turn help establish the stability necessary for the Lebanese government to regain control of their capital." Department of Defense Report

2 They Came in Peace Marines guard airport at Beirut Lebanon Marines guard the streets of Beirut Lebanon. Marines on the roof of a Lebanese University building view an artillery round impacting near a Company A, BLT 1/8, position on the MAU perimeter in late September 1983.

3 They Came in Peace. On the alert, Marine machine gunners survey the scene on front of their positions. The Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, barracks. A USO band performed for the Marines. The next morning a suicide bomber destroyed the barracks and killed 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. Photo by Randy Gaddo

4 They Came in Peace. On 18 April 1983 the U.S. Embassy in Beirut Lebanon was bombed by a suicide bomber. This attack killed over 60 people, mostly embassy staff members and U.S. Marines and Sailors. It was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that time, and is seen by some as marking the beginning of anti-U.S. attacks by Islamist groups.

5 They Came in Peace. -Department of Defense Report – 23 October 1983 "At approximately 0622 on Sunday, 23 Oct. 1983, the Battalion Landing Team headquarters building in the Marine Amphibious Unit compound at Beirut International Airport was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. The catastrophic attack took the lives of 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers and wounded more than 100 others. The bombing was carried out by one lone terrorist driving a yellow Mercedes Benz stake- bed truck that accelerated through the public parking lot south of the BLT headquarters building, where it exploded. The truck drove over the barbed and concertina wire obstacle, passed between two Marine guard posts without being engaged by fire, entered an open gate, passed around one sewer pipe barrier and between two others, flattened the Sergeant of the Guard's sandbagged booth at the building's entrance, penetrated the lobby of the building and detonated while the majority of the occupants slept. The force of the explosion [12,000 pounds] ripped the building from its foundation. The building then imploded upon itself. Almost all the occupants were crushed or trapped inside the wreckage." MAU Compound Before Attack MAU Compound After Attack

6 They Came in Peace. Rescue and clean-up crews search for casualties following the barracks bombing in Beirut on October 23, Photo by SSgt Randy Gaddo, USMC The 1983 terrorist attack on the Marines was the bloodiest day in the Corps' history since World War II, when Marines fought to secure Iwo Jima.

7 They Came in Peace. The blast that destroyed the Marine Barracks, Beirut, Lebanon was at that time the single largest non-nuclear explosion on earth. Soon after the explosion, U.S. Marines and American Allies frantically began rescue operations.

8 They Came in Peace. A view of the crater made in the first floor of the MAU BLT headquarters building by the explosion of the truck bomb which devastated the structure on 23 October The arrow points to a crankcase, all that remained of the truck after it was detonated.

9 They Came in Peace. Vice President George H.W. Bush surveyed the carnage two days after the bombing, with Commandant of the Marine Corps P.X. Kelley (left) and Col. Tim Geraghty (right), the 24th MAU commander. A single stretcher bears the words: 24 th MAU They Came in Peace.

10 24th MAU Chaplain George W. Pucciarelli shows the strain and stress of the bombing. Photograph by Mike Lyongo, Black Star A Marine wipes a tear from his eye as he avoids sniper fire being placed on the rescue teams searching for survivors in the bombed BLT headquarters building.

11 They Came in Peace. President Ronald Reagan (far left) and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects to the caskets of the victims of the attacks. 4 November 1983: President Reagan & Mrs. Reagan attend a Memorial Service for Lebanon & Grenada casualty victims, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A Nation in mourning…

12 They Came in Peace. Immediately following the tragedy, the residents of Jacksonville, NC, expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the families and loved ones of the Marines and Sailors who had been killed. Today, near the entrance to Camp Johnson, a memorial wall now permanently stands. The wall was completed on 23 October 1986 and bears a list of those Americans who died in Lebanon. Only four words are inscribed on the wall: They Came in Peace. In 1988 the statue of a lone Marine keeping vigil over his fellow Marines was added to the wall. The statue of the Marine is represented on this page. Along the center median of Highway 24 in Jacksonville, NC, stands 241 Bradford pear trees, one for each man killed in the explosion.

13 They Came in Peace. This 23 October, when families and friends gather for this year's remembrance, will again remind us of those dedicated peacekeepers who never came home. They were denied the joy of raising a family, pursuing their dreams, and enjoying the blessings of America. Amid the renewals of friendship, hugs, and tears, there always lingers an undercurrent of deep sorrow and anguish that hasn't lessened 25 years later. The peacekeepers' valor and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) 25 Years Later: We Came in Peace By Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) In a Proceedings exclusive, the commanding officer of the Marine unit devastated by the suicide bombing of its barracks in Beirut recounts the horror of that October day 25 years ago and calls it a seminal event in the war against Islamist extremists.

14 They Came in Peace. Semper Fidelis The images and information contained in this presentation are intended to be used for the non-profit education and training of U.S. Marines.


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