WITN: While the nation is mourning what happened in Boston on Monday and the piecing together details of a deadly fire and explosion in Wake, Texas on Wednesday night, many are taking Thursday to also remember a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut 30 years ago.
On this day in 1983, what has been classified as an act of terrorism killed 52 American diplomats, military personnel, and Lebanese Embassy colleagues. 100 Americans and Lebanese were also wounded in the attack.
At the time, the attack on Embassy Beirut was considered the single largest attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility.
The casualties of the April attack in 1983 were more than quadrupled nearly six months later.
On October 23rd of the same year, Lebanese terrorists drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel.
In a statement issued Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry looked back at both bombings from 1983 and to the more recent embassy bombing in Libya.
“The recent loss of State Department colleagues in Zabul, Ankara, and Benghazi remind us of the sacrifices made by our colleagues around the world who work at U.S. diplomatic missions to promote and protect democracy, enhance freedom and justice, and facilitate development,” wrote Sec. Kerry.
A local, public memorial service is set for 10a.m., Saturday, April 20th in Jacksonville in the Lejeune Gardens off Highway 24.
Camp Lejeune will participate in the remembrance service, which will include songs, the laying of wreaths, and reading names of military members lost in the April 18th bombing.
My cousin, Ken Haas, was among those killed in the embassy. You can read about it here.