Online Originals: 36th anniversary of the 1983 Beirut Bombing

Online Originals

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Today marks the 36th anniversary of the 1983 Beirut Bombing that killed 273 American service members.

Friends, family, and survivors of the bombing came together to remember those who had passed.

M.C. Dorsey Jr. was one of those survivors, he said the experience forever changed him and that he feels extremely blessed.

“.. from that point on I heard the explosion everything went black and the next thing I knew I was buried alive.” M.C. Dorsey Junior, Survivor

Dorsey was rescued, but many were not.

“It wasn’t until I was in the hospital in Cypress that the barracks had been blown up. The loss of life was tremendous.” M.C. Dorsey Jr.

To see Dorsey’s full story and more on the observance, click the video above.

Background

Some historians call it the start of the War on Terror. In 1982 Israeli forces responded to an assassination attempt on Israeli’s ambassador to the UK by invading the south of Lebanon.

After 2 and a half months of fighting, a multinational, peacekeeping force was deployed to Beirut. The force was made up of about 800 marines from the 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit.

2 weeks later, on September 10th, President Reagan ordered forces to withdraw from Beirut. However, due to the massacres of civilians, political and religious disturbances, they were sent back. This time joining an even larger peacekeeping force made up of 2,200 French and Italian members.

By October, there were 1,800 service members stationed in Beirut. 300 of those members resided in a building near the airport.

On the morning of the 23rd, an Iranian national suicide bomber detonated bombs within a truck equivalent to more than 10 tons of TNT, lifting and destroying the building where those 300 marines stayed.

In the same 10 minutes, another attack hit a building housing French paratroopers.

273 Americans died.

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