Remembering Beirut

09oct23_beirut_salute.jpgNearly 100 people packed the Portsmouth Historical society this morning for a ceremony remembering the 241 service members killed in the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Families of several of the nine Rhode Islanders lost were on hand to see memorial founder Shirley Zdanuk present the Portsmouth Historical Society with a plaque remembering the fallen.

Among the attendees were state Sen. Chuck Levesque, Reps Amy Rice and Jay Edwards, and Town Councilors Keith Hamilton and Jim Seveney. During the moving half-hour ceremony, guest speaker USMC Lt. Col James Iulo quoted Robert A. Gannon's poem, "The Other Wall"

Shirley Zdanuk with plaque

They did not go as conquerors
To bring a nation down
Or for honor or for glory
Or for praises or renown.

When they landed on that foreign shore
Their only thought in mind
Was the safety of its people
And the good of all mankind.

Memorial at Camp Lejeune
Wikipedia entry on the bombing