On October 23, 1983, Hizballah carried out a suicide bombing targeting the United States Marine Barracks in Beirut, claiming the lives of 241 American service members who had been sent on a peacekeeping mission. The service members who lost their lives that day were true heroes, far from home in a troubled land, seeking to protect the innocent. As inscribed on the U.S. Embassy Beirut Memorial and the Beirut Memorial at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, “They came in peace.” We will never forget their sacrifice.
This attack, and the many more that followed around the world, make clear Hizballah’s commitment to violence and bloodshed and demonstrate its continuing disregard for the lives of the very people that it claims to protect. These terrorist acts have unmasked Iran, Hizballah’s patron, as a rogue state willing to pursue its malevolent interests at all costs.
On this solemn day, we honor the sacrifice of those brave Americans, and we renew our commitment to preventing Hizballah and its sponsor Iran from spilling more innocent blood in Lebanon or anywhere in the world. The United States will continue to target, disrupt, and dismantle Hizballah’s financing and operational networks, and will continue to take all actions available to starve this terrorist entity of funds and support. We are grateful for the nations around the world that have designated or acted to ban the activities of Hizballah as a terrorist organization.
Working together, we can ensure the tragedy that befell our brave Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers 37 years ago will never happen again.