At 0622 on October 23, 1983, thirty-one years ago today, a yellow Mercedes truck drove up to the entrance of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon; headquarters of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit and its ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1/8.
The Iranian driver triggered his load of explosives, equivalent to 21,000 pounds of TNT, and 241 American peacekeepers were killed. It was the largest single day Marine Corps loss since Iwo Jima.
Minutes later a second suicide bomber hit the Drakkar building, the barracks of the 3rd Company, 1st Parachute Chasseurs Regiment, killing 58 French paratroopers.
Beirut was a place few Americans had heard of prior to 1983, and a place most can’t find on a map now. October 23, 1983 is a date most will not note nor remember.
Except for those who were there.
You are not forgotten brothers.