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Marine Corps League observes anniversary of Beirut bombing

Submitted photo Marine Corps League Department of West Virginia Junior Vice Commandant Greg Irwin of Elkins places a wreath and salutes in respect at the Beirut Bombing Memorial on the Randolph County Courthouse lawn in observance of the 38th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which claimed the lives of 241 Americans, including USMC Lance Cpl. David L. Cosner of Elkins, who was a close friend of Irwin.

ELKINS — Elkins Marine Corps League held a brief ceremony this weekend in observance of the 38th anniversary of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

Marine Corps League Department of West Virginia Junior Vice Commandant Greg Irwin of Elkins placed a wreath and saluted in respect at the Beirut Bombing Memorial on the Randolph County Courthouse lawn in observance of the 38th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

The bombing claimed the lives of 241 Americans, including USMC Lance Cpl. David L. Cosner of Elkins, who was a close friend of Irwin.

The monument bears the names of five West Virginians who died in the Oct. 23, 1983 bombing, including Cosner, Cpl. Medot Camara of Hinton, Lance Cpl. Russell Cyzicle of Star City, Cpl. Timothy Runnigan of Princeton and U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Martin Kees of Martinsburg.

The wreath-placement ceremony was sponsored by Elkins Marine Corps League Detachment 956.

Killed in the bombing were 220 Marines, 17 Navy medical personnel and four Army soldiers in the largest single-day loss of U.S. Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945.

On Oct. 23, 1983, a 19-ton Mercedes-Benz stake-bed truck drove into the lobby of the barracks. A suicide bomber detonated the explosives, and the force of the explosion leveled the four-story building to rubble.

The explosives used were later estimated to be equivalent to as much as 21,000 pounds of TNT.

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