“This Cedar Of Lebanon Tree Grows In
Living Memory Of The Americans Killed
In The Beirut Terrorist Attack And All
Victims Of Terrorism Throughout The World
Dedicated During The First Memorial
Ceremony For These Victims
Given By No Greater Love
October 23, 1984
A Time Of Remembrance”
Richard M. Gannon in “The Bombing of Embassy Beirut, 1983″ (Embassies Under Siege. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1995) writes about Robert Dillon who was US Ambassador to Beirut in 1983:
“In the early afternoon of April 18, 1983, Ambassador Robert Dillon was preparing to leave his eighth- floor office of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut when a suicide bomber in a pickup truck swerved into the embassy compound from the busy roadway outside. The driver reached a point next to the building before detonating his deadly cargo, killing 17 Americans, 32 Lebanese employees and 14 embassy visitors and passersby. Once colleagues had removed debris that had fallen on him, Dillon made his way down the side of the hollowed-out structure. He immediately set to work trying to reestablish a functioning but much truncated embassy, while Lebanese and Americans worked desperately to meet emergency medical needs and rescue any survivors. U.S. Marines, deployed at the Beirut International Airport in response to the tumultuous events in Lebanon during the previous year, rushed to the scene and provided security.”
Six months after the embassy bombing, on October 23, 1983, a suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut claimed the lives of 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers.
This week marks the annual commemoration ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Awkar honoring those who lost their lives serving the United States in Lebanon. The ceremony presided by Ambassador Michele J. Sison occurred adjacent to the granite memory on the Embassy grounds. This memorial honors the fifty-two Lebanese and Americans who died April 18, 1983 when the former Embassy was bombed, the nine who died September 20, 1984 bombing of the Embassy annex, the 241 U.S. servicemen who were killed in the October 23, 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks, and those who were lost in other tragic incidents from 1976 to 1995. The memorial is an enduring reminder of the sacrifices made by so many who believed in the relationship between Lebanon and the United States.
The US Embassy Beirut Memorial is here.