Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Memoriam.

Today, we observe those who died in the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing. It happened 25 years ago, October 23, 1983.

Here is a list of those who died for our country that day; 220 Marines, 18 Navy sailors and three Army soldiers.

Remember too, the near simultaneous attack on the 3rd Company of the 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment, France (La 3ème Compagnie, 1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes) which killed 58.

And then there came a shadow, swift and sudden, dark and drear;
The bells were silent, not an echo stirred.
The flags were drooping sullenly, the men forgot to cheer;
We waited, and we never spoke a word.
The sky grew darker, darker, till from out the gloomy rack
There came a voice that checked the heart with dread:
"Tear down, tear down your bunting now, and hang up sable black;
They are coming -- it's the Army of the Dead."

* * *

The folks were white and stricken, and each tongue seemed weighted with lead;
Each heart was clutched in hollow hand of ice;
And every eye was staring at the horror of the dead,
The pity of the men who paid the price.
They were come, were come to mock us, in the first flush of our peace;
Through writhing lips their teeth were all agleam;
They were coming in their thousands -- oh, would they never cease!
I closed my eyes, and then -- it was a dream.

There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the scarlet gleaming street;
The town was mad; a man was like a boy.
A thousand flags were flaming where the sky and city meet;
A thousand bells were thundering the joy.
There was music, mirth and sunshine; but some eyes shone with regret;
And while we stun with cheers our homing braves,
O God, in Thy great mercy, let us nevermore forget
The graves they left behind, the bitter graves.

Robert W. Service
The March of the Dead

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