ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — On Oct. 23, 1983, 241 U.S. servicemembers, including five from West Virginia, were killed in a suicide bombing at the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
As stated by U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea on the anniversary of the bombing, U.S. troops moved into Lebanon at the request of the Lebanese government in 1982 to help in a civil war. A year later, tragedy struck. “A suicide bomber drove a truck filled with explosives into the barracks and detonated it,” said Shea.
At the Randolph County Courthouse in Elkins, West Virginia, a memorial keeps the memory of the five West Virginia lives that were lost in the attack. The memorial says:
It also lists the following names under the words “West Virginia” and “Semper Fidelis”—Latin for “always faithful”:
- Cpl. Mecot Camara – Hinton
- LCpl. David Cosner – Elkins
- HM2 Marlon E. Kees – Martinsburg
- LCpl. Russell Cyzick – Star City
- Cpl. Timothy Dunnigan – Princeton
Alongside a video posted on the Marines official website on the 40th anniversary of the bombing, the branch said, “The sacrifice of our service members and the heroic efforts by Marines in the aftermath of the attack will never be forgotten.”
Also this year throughout the month of October, the U.S. Embassy planted the “Cedar Tree Battalion,” 241 cedar trees in the Shouf Reserve in Lebanon, to remember the lives who were lost.