JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The annual observance to mark the 38th anniversary of October 23, 1983, Beirut bombing was held at the Beirut Memorial on Saturday.
The observance will honor the fallen service members and survivors who served in Lebanon from 1958 to 1984 and in Grenada. Out of an abundance of caution and due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our community, the observance will be held virtually and closed to the public.
This is an annual event organized by the City of Jacksonville Beirut Memorial Advisory Board in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville, Marine Corps Installations East, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The Beirut Memorial Address will be given by the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David H Berger.
General Al Gray, USMC (Retired) the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, will provide a special message for the observance. General Gray was the commander of the 2d Marine Division at the time of the Beirut bombing, and became part of the face of the response by the US Military and for the families of those lost.
Remarks will also be made by BGen Andrew Niebel Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations East, serving his fifth tour of duty here at Camp Lejeune.
Operations Officer, Maj Jordan Eddington and Battalion Sgt Major Phillip Cosby of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, as well as BGen Andrew Niebel, Commanding General MCIEAST and Col Curtis Ebitz Jr, Commanding Officer for MCAS New River will participate in the laying of the wreaths.
Mayor Sammy Phillips is the sixth Mayor to repeat the words “We will not forget” to the families of those who have names on the wall. It has become the solemn duty of the Jacksonville Mayor to renew the pledge at each observance. Together, the Mayor and the command of Camp Lejeune appoint members to Beirut Memorial Advisory Board whose duty it is to organize and perform the annual observance.
The event will air on the Jacksonville-Onslow Government channel (G10TV), on www.G10TV.org, on social media and through the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) via the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System at www.DVIDShub.net.
The organizers regret the public will not be able to attend. In the event of inclement weather, the observance will take place inside City Hall, 815 New Bridge Street.