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Virginia War Memorial To Host Commonwealth’s Observance Of 40th Anniversary Of Bombing Of Beirut Marine Barracks On Monday, October 23, 2023

Public Encouraged To Attend Special Ceremony To Honor And Remember US Service Members Killed In Terrorist Attack In Beirut, Lebanon On October 23, 1983



The Virginia War Memorial will host the Commonwealth’s Observance of the 40th Anniversary of the Bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon at a special ceremony on October 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. outdoors in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory –Global War on Terrorism & Beyond. The event is free and members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend.

The ceremony will honor and remember the 241 American service members who were stationed at the Barracks as part of the US peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and killed in the terrorist attack. 220 US Marines, 18 US Navy Sailors and 3 US Army Soldiers lost their lives during the bombing.

Scheduled speakers include the Honorable Craig Crenshaw, Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, who served over 30 years in the US Marine Corps before retiring with the rank of Major General.

The ceremony will include the presentation of a memorial wreath by Secretary Crenshaw and Ms. Deanna Owens, representing the Gold Star Families. The names of the 11 Virginia Marines killed during the attack will be read by a US Marine accompanied by the tolling of the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia.

“The unprovoked attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut forty years ago resulted the greatest loss of Marines in a single day since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II,” said Dr. Clay Mountcastle, Virginia War Memorial Director. “These young Marines and their fellow Sailors and Soldiers were stationed in Lebanon not to fight, but to act as peacekeepers between the various factions fighting in that nation’s civil war. Their ultimate sacrifice should never be forgotten, and this is why we are hosting this observance of the 40th anniversary of the attack.”

“We have invited the families and relatives of those who perished in the attacks, active-duty Marines from Fort Gregg-Adams, and veterans groups to attend and we encourage all Virginians to come join us as we honor and remember these brave heroes,” added Dr. Mountcastle.

The Virginia War Memorial is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Va. 23220.  Free parking is available in the surface lot and in the underground parking deck at the Memorial.

The Memorial’s exhibit buildings will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the grounds from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

For more information about the Commonwealth’s Observance of the 40th Anniversary of the Bombing of the Beirut Marine Barracks, please visit, or call 804.786.2060.


About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate, and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the Global War on Terrorism. The Virginia War Memorial is and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms.

The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220 and is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, except for select events.  For more information, please visit


About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with 50 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education, and other programs. The agency operates four long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit