On the morning of October 23, 1983, a dump truck packed with an estimated 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) of explosives crashed through the front gates of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The detonation ripped the four-story building from its foundation, and the barracks imploded in a matter of seconds. 241 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers were killed in the explosion. For the Marines, it represented the largest loss of life in a single day for the Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
This year's St. Patrick's Day Gala will pay special tribute to the 241 servicemen lost as well as those who survived the bombing. A coin is being designed to honor the 220 Marines, 18 Sailors and 3 Soldiers who were killed in the blast. The coins will be given to guests attending the Gala.
Our guests will also hear from Mr. Steven Godfrey. As a young Marine, Steve was stationed in Beirut on that fateful day and he will give his perspective of what happened and what role he played then as a Marine and now as a board member for Fisher House Boston.