President Trump Delivers Remarks on 35th Anniversary of Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing…

Earlier today President Trump delivered remarks to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the 1983 Beirut marine barracks bombing.  For many CTH readers the images of the attack that killed 241 U.S. servicemen are forever seared into our memory.  The bombing was one of the most horrific events during the terms of President Ronald Reagan.

Joining the President today to commemorate the anniversary were families of the fallen and those who survived the October 23rd, attack by Iranian backed Hezbollah terrorists.

President Trump was also joined in remarks by Secretary of Defense James Mattis who was the casualty notification officer for Rhode Island victims in the aftermath of the explosion.  The prayer toward the end of the formal remarks is quite touching.

[Transcript] – East Room – 6:26 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) That’s fantastic. Thank you. Please be seated. Thank you very much. A lot of spirit in this room. (Laughter.) A lot of spirit. For good reason.

We’re gathered together on this solemn occasion to fulfill our most reverent and sacred duty. Thirty-five years ago, 241 American service members were murdered in the terrorist attack on our Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a very sad period of time. These are great, great people.

Today, we honor our fallen heroes and pledge that their blessed memory will never die, but live instead in the hearts of our grateful nation forever.

We are joined by, and for, todays observers. And I’d like to introduce some of the outstanding people in our government, and some that are outside of our government, starting off with Secretary of State Pompeo. (Applause.) Mike? Where is Mike? Stand up, Mike. (Applause.) Thank you. Great job. And he’s been doing a lot of traveling. A very well-traveled man, aren’t you, Mike? Huh?

Secretary of Defense Mattis. (Applause.) Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer. (Applause.) Thank you. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. (Applause.) Hi, Joseph.

Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley. (Applause.) Mark, thank you. Thank you, Mark. Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Neller. (Applause.) Robert.

Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz. (Applause.) And Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green. Ronald. (Applause.) As well as my Chief of Staff, and a beloved Marine — he loves the Marines — John Kelly. John. (Applause.)

And much more important, a great wife and a great mother: Karen. Please stand up. Karen Pence. (Applause.) Great woman. Great man. Great woman. Thank you very much. Thank you everybody.

And thanks to the French Ambassador to the United States, Grard Araud, for being here. Grard. Where are you, Grard? Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you very much. I just spoke to your President. I just spoke to President Macron, and he’s doing well. He sends his regards. (Laughter.)

I also want to recognize two very special retired Marines who led with extraordinary valor in the wake of the Beirut terrorist attack: Colonel Tim Garrity and General Al Gray. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, General Gray!

THE PRESIDENT: See that? They all love you.

We are also truly thankful to have with us the veterans of Beirut, who really — I mean, this is an incredible group. I’m going to ask you to stand. You courageously survived that terrible October day, and you have made your First Duty to Remember. Please stand. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT: Such incredible spirit. I see hugging and kissing. I think it’s fantastic. That’s — that’s what love is, right? That’s real love. That’s the kind of love we like. That’s beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Great, great people.

Most importantly, we’re joined by the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Please stand. Please. (Applause.) Wow. Wow. That’s great. That’s really great. Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you very much. That’s great. Incredible.

To every Gold Star Family: Today, we pay tribute to the heroes you knew and loved. We grieve and mourn by your side. And we honor the immortal sacrifice of 241 heroes who gave their lives for our freedom. Thank you for being here very much.

In 1983, roughly 1,800 Marines were in Beirut to keep the peace in a nation torn apart by civil war. Terrorists had bombed the U.S. Embassy earlier that year, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans.

For the 300 Marines stationed at the Beirut Airport, the morning of October 23rd arrived like any other. The Marines on guard stood there and at their post; others slept peacefully in their bunks — until suddenly, and without warning, a truck driven by a terrorist crashed through the fences and barricades, and into the lobby of the Marine Barracks.

At 6:22 a.m., the terrorist detonated the equivalent of 1,200 pounds, commonly known as 12,000 pounds — that’s a lot, and it’s terrible — of explosives, killing 3 American soldiers, 18 American sailors, and 220 United States Marines. That was a horrible moment.

Minutes later, another truck bomb took the lives of 58 French paratroopers. It was the single deadliest day for the Marines since Iwo Jima.

The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, which Iran was instrumental in founding a year earlier to advance its radical agenda, and remain its main patron today. And we are doing a big number on Iran today, in case you havent noticed. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: God bless you, Mr. Trump!

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I’ll tell you what — they’re not the same country they were when I took office, I will tell you that. (Applause.) They’re rioting in their streets. Their money has collapsed. Their lives are a lot different. And they’re not looking so much for the Mediterranean. When I took office, they were looking for the Mediterranean. They were going to take over everything. Now they want to survive. Whole different deal, folks. It’s a whole different deal.

No terrorist group other than al Qaeda has more American blood on its hands.

The service members who died that day include brave young Marines just out of high school, accomplished officers in the middle of their military careers, and enlisted men who had served in theaters all over the world. But they formed one united military family, defending their nation, serving their fellow Americans, and wearing their uniform with dignity and pride. Such incredible pride.

Each of these heroes died as they lived: as noble warriors — they were warriors — whose hearts were filled with courage and whose souls were rich with love.

The United States Marines are often the first to deploy, the first into danger, and the first to fight.” And on that morning 35 years ago, they were among the very first to give their lives in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism — the battle that we are winning and we will win. (Applause.)

And I have to point out — and I can do this for General Kelly, General Mattis, and everybody here — that we are doing very well in our fight against ISIS. They are virtually knocked out entirely in Syria. In another short period of time, they’ll be gone, and also in Iraq and in lots of other places. We have stepped up the fight to a level that even General Mattis was very happy to get that order. Is that right, General? We’ve done a very strong number. (Applause.) Radical Islamic terror.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will always ensure that our service members have the tools, resources, equipment, support, and trust they need to protect this nation and to defeat Americas enemies with overwhelming force. No enemy on Earth can match the strength of our military or the might of our Marines. We will use every instrument of our national power to confront the sinister forces of terrorism.

That is one reason why last year I withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear disaster. (Applause.) On November 5th, all U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted by the nuclear deal will be back in full force — every sanction that we had on there originally, which would have — if they would have just left it a little bit longer, it would have been so much easier than what we’ve been through over the last number of years. All they had to do was leave it the way it was. It was eating them away. But we’ve started it all over again, and it will be just as good. Wasted time — and lives, unfortunately.

And they will be followed up with even more sanctions to address the full range of Irans malign conduct. We will not allow the worlds leading sponsor of terror to develop the worlds deadliest weapons. Will not happen.

Over the past year, we have levied the highest number of sanctions ever imposed on Hezbollah in a single year, by far. Just a few moments ago, I signed legislation imposing even more hard-hitting sanctions on Hezbollah to further starve them of their funds. And they are starving their funds. (Applause.)

We will target, disrupt, and dismantle their operational and financing networks — of which they had plenty; they don’t have plenty now — and we will never forget what they did to our great Marines in Beirut. We will never forget. (Applause.)

In the days after the attack, very brave General Al Gray traveled to more than 150 funerals of his beloved Marines who perished in the Beirut bombing.

On one of those trips, he arrived at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. There, he joined the hour-long funeral procession to transport a fallen Marine to his final resting place in a small town near Auburn, Alabama.

On that long drive, General Gray witnessed a sight that would stay with him forever. Throughout the entire journey — along both sides of the highway, for miles and miles of country road, as far as the eye could see – everyday citizens, who came by the thousands, were lined up to pay their highest respects. They were waving flags, holding hands, holding their hands also over their hearts, and standing in silent salute to our great fallen Marine heroes.

This outpouring of love and devotion was but a small measure of the eternal gratitude of our nation. In all of our history, no figure has ever lived with more grace and courage than the men and women who serve our country in uniform. They are Gods blessing to us all. They are God’s blessing. (Applause.) They are incredible, incredible people.

Each of the Gold Star families here today carries on the remarkable legacy of their loved ones. You care for your families, you serve your communities, you support one another, you persevere, and you overcome. And I know you very well: You win. You just know nothing but winning. I know the people — some of the people in this room, they just know how to win. And you keep the memory of our heroes alive.

So this evening, we pay tribute to your service. We honor your sacrifice. And we say, on behalf of all Americans, thank you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for your love that is greater than life itself. And thank you for remembering us all what it means to live like our heroes: forever brave, forever strong, and always, always, always faithful.

Thank you once again. And God bless you. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, folks. Thank you very much. Thank you.

END 6:41 P.M. EDT

This entry was posted in Death Threats, France, Heros, History, Military, President Trump, Uncategorized, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to President Trump Delivers Remarks on 35th Anniversary of Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing…

  1. Pam says:

    This was a beautiful ceremony to honor these fallen heroes. May God bless their families.

    Liked by 11 people

  2. anniefannie says:

    So glad that he blessed the young people who are our future. They need guidance.

    Liked by 10 people

  3. Glenna McCormack says:

    The guard didn’t make any mistake, he wasn’t allowed ammo. That changed my life forever. Never forget.

    Liked by 12 people

  4. wendy forward says:

    My friend was the Ambassador in Beirut. He got buried under rubble in his office. Marine guards dug him our with am American flag otherwise he might well have suffocated. He then went to help others. Good guy-Robert Dillon.

    Liked by 17 people

  5. Caius Lowell says:

    And who did this? Obama’s good, good friend Iran — never forget.

    Liked by 13 people

  6. 🍺Gunny66 says:

    I was there… first experience with the death of fellow Marines…

    I was not in the barracks, I was in Artillery and was on a different position. But, many of my friends were in the barracks.

    The issue was NATO in Belgium was in charge of our Rules of Engagement. We were not allowed to have loaded weapons.

    The guards at the barracks saw the truck. Driving around in circles gaining speed, then running into the barracks. But they could do nothing…..weapons not loaded…

    Since then….I have always had a loaded weapon…and never…ever….slept in a building while deployed…..I slept outside from that time….always….

    I Iranians were behind it…did it……ever since that time….I have had this “thing” regarding terrorists.

    The French also lost military the same day.

    Prayers to all who have lost loved ones..

    Semper Fi.

    Liked by 31 people

    • Deplorable_Infidel says:

      “Rules of Engagement.”

      It seems that a very high percentage of “problems and issues” arise from these “Rules of Engagement” dating all the way back to the conflict in Vietnam.

      Liked by 8 people

      • IMO says:

        Thank for your service Gunny66. That was a sad day for America and yes… prayers to all the families that lost loved ones.

        Liked by 8 people

      • Deplorable_Infidel says:

        “problems and issues”

        “A Black Hawk Down of the war in Afghanistan, the deadliest day for the U.S. in 12 years of that conflict—and a military investigation that covered up evidence of an inside job by the Taliban. Don Brown, a former U.S. Navy JAG officer stationed at the Pentagon, and former Special Assistant United States Attorney, has in his possession one of four copies of The Colt Report, which reveals a possible cover-up in relation to the August 6, 2011, killing of 30 men from the United States, including 17 members of Navy Seal Team Six—warrior brothers from the same Team that ninety days before killed Osama Bin Laden—potentially by undercover Taliban operatives.”

        The author was a guest on both coast to coast am radio and Tomi Lahren’s show when she was at One America News. Reserve back up protection was denied, just like the “Black Hawk Down” debacle in Somalia when Defense Secretary Les Aspin denied the request for coverage by an AC-130 Spectre gunship for the mission.

        Liked by 8 people

    • the5thranchhand says:

      Dear Gunny, Thank you for your brave, and faithful service. Thank you for your story. May the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel forever, bless you and bring you shalom.

      Liked by 10 people

    • Eric says:

      One of the most powerful posts I’ve read on CTH. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 8 people

    • wendy forward says:

      Wow, just wow, Gunny. God bless you and Semper Fi.

      Did you know my friend?

      Liked by 2 people

    • military midwit 33T says:

      It was a very sad and sobering time for those of us who were active duty that day. I was stationed here in the states then, transitioning from military police to military intelligence. My baby girl was born two months after this bombing attack. We were watching the World Series together last night when I saw the notification of this anniversary on my computer. We talked about it for a while because she had never heard of this. As an aside, I was away from my family a lot over the next few years and my wife used to tell me that our daughter used to point up at passing planes and say “Daddy?” My wife would answer “soon”.

      My heart aches for those families who never got to have their loved one back. All gave some, and some gave all. Lord, bless those families and ease their pain.

      Liked by 13 people

    • Kenji says:

      Wow! I’m glad you weren’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have to admit I was SOOO ANGRY that our troops were left as sitting Ducks for this truck bomb … that I went AFTER R.Reagan in letter, and on local call-in talk shows. I was particularly pissed off when he said that … “he takes full responsibility for the unsecured barracks”.

      Sorry. Not good enough! That should NEVER have happened … and you correctly identified the problem/cause … ceding our ROE to NATO. Reagan should have known better. Politics and “optics” be damned. Sorry, but Reagan’s mistake was just as egregious as HER idiocy at Benghazi. Just as bad as Billy Bob setting our boys up for disaster in Mogadishu.

      Semper Fi…HooRAH! … as a non-military civilian, you have my undying respect, and to the best of my ability … I’ve got your back. RIP my brave American soldiers.

      Liked by 4 people

    • woohoowee says:

      Hubby’s cousin was there that day. His mother didn’t know if he was a survivor until a front page photo of the rescue efforts was printed in the newspapers and he was one of the men digging thru the rubble. Sometimes that seems like just yesterday.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Wow Gunny. I so appreciate your sharing with us, what was clearly life-changing for you (and an ending for so many of your friends and fellow service members).
      God bless you and yours.

      Liked by 2 people

    • noswamp says:

      Gunny 66,
      So sad and sorry for what you had to go through. I see that this experience affected you tremendously. Saying that we appreciate your service does not seem adequate, but you know what we mean. My fellow Patriot: God bless you.

      Liked by 3 people

    • USMCLt says:

      Gunny, I had left active duty 4 years prior to the bombing, but I seethe with anger every time I think of politicians putting our finest Marines and other service members in defenseless situations such as 1983 Beirut. We were not trained nor was it our job description to be expendable political pawns. This s##t has got to stop!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Capt 9754 says:

      I was up in Lawrence MA as the I&I. I had the duty to notify the parents of a few Marines who died that day. As I spoke the words to them, that no parent wants to hear , I was struck, by their dignity, and grace. Magnificent families of magnificent Marines.

      Semper Fi,

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for posting Sundance. 35 yrs ago I was a young Marine Sergeant just 50 yards behind the Barracks. August and Sept were packed with daily heavy incoming arty and mortars along with small arms and RPG’s. Fire was returned each time from Sept forward. This year I went up to Camp Lejuene and gathered with many other immediate responders and survivors. Digging thru the rubble was horrible. The Marines were well armed and had ammo at all guard posts. However, were unable to chamber rounds while on post unless attacked. The guard at the airport gate fired along with others but unable stop the speeding truck.

    Liked by 16 people

  8. Rami says:

    My husband as a young man out of high school, along with a few of his friends had decided to join the Marines. They all went for their medical exams and he was denied entry because of prior knee and bicep injury (moto-cross) but his friends joined and ended up in Beruit. One of them died and another ended up with PTSD, which ended his life later on. He has always, at certain times felt guilty because he was unable to join them. Glad that he wasn’t there.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. mj_inOC says:

    Beautiful, poignant tribute… thank you, Mr. President, and may we never forget.

    ‘There is no greater love than this, that a man will lay down his life.’

    Liked by 7 people

  10. California Joe says:

    I never forgave Reagan for sending the Marines to Beirut and then not letting them have ammunition! What an absolutely insane order cowering to political correctness and needlessly exposing our military to harm.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Kalbo says:

    198x onboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) deployed overseas preparing for upcoming in-port security. Weapons Officer, Commander (Navy O-5) tells Marine Captain, Detachment CO (Marine O-3) his Marines would NOT have loaded weapons on post during the in-port. Marine Captain immediately and firmly replied, Commander, my Marines will have loaded weapons on post or they will not stand the post. JO’s (Junior Officers, me included) dismissed, told to come back in 20 minutes. After we returned, in-port planning continued, Marines with loaded weapons were part of the plan.

    Before that meeting, incident, we all respected the Marine Captain. After the meeting, respect reinforced.

    Perhaps, and I do not know, the Marine Captain’s position regarding loaded weapons direct a result of the Beirut bombing, which then became SOP in the Corps.

    Liked by 11 people

    • ann says:

      As a civilian, I know little of this milieu.. But, with the election of POTUS, it is my sincere hope that from the top down, command can now expect leaders to have the ethos this fine captain displayed

      For eight years and more, our troops and field intell were subjected to the ignorant demands of an arrogant con and his grubby political operatives.

      The damage wrought from political purges , the sacrifice of project Cassandra, the gross negligence inferred by long term massive intell.breaches is unimaginable.

      The capacity for stupidity in the political class is appalling.
      Nor is this confined party.

      My respect and appreciation to all.who.posted.

      Liked by 2 people

    • annieoakley says:

      Sometimes i do wonder about the Navy. Glad the Marine Captain outranked the Navy commander.


  12. Trump Train says:

    2 things outside of the obvious stood out to me. First found it interesting that “Mad Dog” was a notification officer, which has to be the toughest job in the world and second they finished the ceremony praying…………..I would be shocked if that were the case in the previous admin. I am still sick to my stomach today over the fact we put our soldiers in a position where they could not defend themselves.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. Great AWESOME Speech! WHY so few comments?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Curt says:

    Trump always hits a home run. This speech is no exception.

    Having said that I want to state that the Marines deployed were not allowed to have loaded weapons. There was fear of a political incident!!! I remembering hearing that the marines at the main gate did NOT have loaded weapons and were not even able to shoot at the explosive laden truck. This is how I remember that incident. I was totally bummed out at President Reagan. If this is accurate, we can only hope our POLITICIANS have learned a lesson. If true, how sickening is this????

    Liked by 3 people

    • America First says:

      Beggars belief that they were not allowed arms on base, and that idiocy continued even after this incident; as I recall the lack of arms was how that Muslim medic was able to do so much damage at Fort Hood.

      Liked by 4 people

  15. Milton says:

    It is good for Trump to remember this tragic event. But bsed on what we have learned over the past 2 years I believe we were not told the truth about the bombing. The story fits the deep state false flag narratives that are all to frequent in the ME. Remember the media was no more honest then as it is now There are too many bad actors in our government and in ME countries to rely on a simple story. Was this another USS Liberty attack to cause the POTUS to react?


  16. weareallandrew says:

    Semper Fi, Jim. We will never forget.,_JR.,_LT,_USN

    Liked by 2 people

  17. calbear84 says:

    @7:30 Cold Anger!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The speech was beautifully written and wow, the prayer was amazing. Heartfelt and an example to all. Thank you for this post SD.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Critical Mass says:

    Beautiful prayer by the priest at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. roninamerican says:

    I wasn’t planning on commenting until I saw Jim Surch’s name appear.

    I knew Jim, he was serving as the Naval Gunnery Liaison Gunnery Officer (NGLO) to the BLT and was bunking in that building. I was a young officer aboard one of the Amphibious Ready Group’s ships. Not long before he was murdered, Jim had given me his Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) pin as a gift. I had recently completed my SWO qualifications and Jim wanted me to have his. I was flattered. I still have it.

    I had been in that building on several occasions, but our ship was in transit to Egypt on the morning of the attack and several hours away. I was on the bridge when we received the news. Numb.

    We didn’t get back off Beirut until late in the day. I took a rescue detail from our ship ashore, but it turned out to be a recovery operation by then. The photos of the aftermath don’t do justice to what it really looked like. We dug through the rubble all night.

    Every October 23rd since has been difficult. I still remember Jim (and others from there) fondly and pray for their eternal rest.

    I’ve been a reader of CTH for some time now, feel so fortunate to have found this site. I’m more of a reader than a contributor, but I felt compelled this one time.

    God bless you all.

    Liked by 5 people

    • WeeWeed says:

      Welcome Ronin!

      Liked by 1 person

    • jeans2nd says:

      Thank you for sharing your memories, ron. Please contribute often. Your thoughts are important.

      Liked by 2 people

    • John Barr says:

      After seven years commissioned service, I left active duty in July of 1983. Lost two friends in the bombing, and likely knew many of the others who were murdered that morning. RIP: Major John Macrogulou and Capt. Bill Winter.

      Never forget and never forgive the terrorists, then or now.

      (Years ago, I posted something similar on another site. A few days later, I received a reply from someone who identified as Major Mac’s widow. She thanked me for remembering him. How could I forget……..)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Very touching ceremony! Great job Mr. President, General Mattis for your meaningful remarks and father George Puperelli’s (sp) heartfelt prayer!


  22. Gary says:

    I’ve waited a very long time for this, Thank You Mr. President.

    Gunny, “They Came In Peace” Thank you for all. One day I’m going to buy you a beer Sir!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. bitterlyclinging says:

    Hate to burst your bubble, but Ronnie thought all he had to do was show the flag and the bad guys would skulk away, not realizing there were folks out there who really, really wanted to kill Americans.
    Ronnie was a quick learner, though, The caravans of city trucks, their dump bodies filled with sand to be strategically placed blocking another truck bomb attempt took hours to pass by my work place, coming and going, when he came to visit the city I was working in.

    Liked by 1 person

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