Governor LePage Recognizes 30th Anniversary of Beirut Barracks Bombing

October 23, 2013

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Oct. 23 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage is encouraging Mainers and Americans across the Nation to remember the 30th Anniversary of Beirut Barracks Bombing that killed hundreds of Americans. Two-hundred forty-one Marines, Sailors and Soldiers lost their lives in 1983 as the result of a horrific terrorist attack that destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. It was the highest number of Marine casualties in a single day since World War II.

On Oct. 23, 1983, 220 Marines, 18 Sailors and 3 Soldiers were killed when a terrorist drove a truck carrying thousands of pounds of explosives through the headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, located in the Beirut International Airport. Marine CPL Bruce L. Howard, of Strong, Maine, was killed in the attack. Marine Major Andrew L. Davis was also killed and he had ties to Maine.

“Today, we pause to remember and honor the brave Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors lost in the single most deadly attack on Americans on foreign soil,” said Governor LePage. “Not since the brutal battle for Iwo Jima in February 1945 had the Marines suffered such a single day casualty rate.”

There were 1,800 Marines stationed in Beirut at the time and 300 service members had been living at the four-story building at the airport in Beirut. Mark Nevells was a Corporal with the Marines in 1983, stationed in Beirut. He recalls being approximately100 yards from the target building when it exploded. He says, decades later, most people he meets cannot remember what happened in Beirut.

“It’s a single event that many people forget about, but so long as I am here I will remind people about this page in our history. The 241 brave souls that died that day deserve it,” Nevells said.