color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Honoring the Victims

Friday, July 21, 2006

Honoring the Victims

Picked this up from Andi over at Andi's World

July 19, 2006

Honoring the Victims of the 1983 Beirut Terrorist Attack

7/19/06: Post bumped up due to recent events in Beirut.

This post was originally published on February 27, 2006. Recently, someone posted it in a Marine chat room. Over the weekend, I heard from Marines, some of whom lost fellow Marines in Beirut. Out of respect for these men, and in the hopes that more of you will sign the petition (it's free), I am bumping this post up. Semper Fi.

Original post:

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.- President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Long before September 11, 2001, our country experienced a terrorist attack at the hands of Islamic extremists. That attack occurred in Beirut, Lebanon where 241 Americans, mostly Marines, perished.

In just over two years from now, the 25th anniversary of that tragedy will be upon us. For 19 years, The Beirut Stamp Initiative, comprised of Gold Star Families, has been petitioning the US Congress, and the USPS Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to commission a stamp memorializing the deaths of our troops on that fateful day in 1983.

The submission has repeatedly been been rejected and one of the reasons cited is, quite frankly, an outrage.

We try hard to honor positive things
People want non-controversial pretty stamps
Beirut lacked significance in American history and not enough people were killed

Below you'll find the criteria for selecting a stamp for commission.

The Committee's primary goal is to select subjects for recommendation to the Postmaster General that are both interesting and educational. In addition to Postal Service's extensive line of regular stamps, approximately 25 new subjects for commemorative stamps are recommended each year. Stamp selections are made with all postal customers in mind, not just stamp collectors. A good mix of subjects, both interesting and educational, is essential.

Looking at some of the stamps that have made the cut, like this, this and this, just to highlight a few, I'm not sure any of them should be considered interesting or educational. However, Americans who were murdered in peacetime by religious fanatics, well, that's a different story. Furthermore, to say that Beirut "lacked significance in American History" is a slap in the face to the family members of those who lost their lives.

In 2003, Congress failed to move a resolution endorsing the issuance of the stamp.

In January 2003, Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr., introduced House Resolution 45, asking Congress to issue a stamp in remembrance of the Beirut, Lebanon service members. However, the resolution never received 50 co-sponsoring congressional signatures and couldn’t be put to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Interestingly, a stamp intended to raise funds for the families of the victims of 9/11 was commissioned in 2002, and rightly so.

And yes, the USPS has, in the past, issued a stamp honoring Marines. But as I said in my opening, the United States felt the sting of terrorism long before September 11, and those who gave their lives in 1983 should be honored.

I'm afraid that this stamp may never be commissioned, mainly because we're less than three years away from the 25th anniversary, which was the original goal to have this stamp approved, and it hasn't been accepted by the USPS as of yet.

Subjects should be submitted at least three years in advance of the proposed date of issue to allow sufficient time for consideration and for design and production, if the subject is approved.

But let's try anyway. Currently, there are only 9,847 signatories on the petition for this stamp. Let's see if we can boost that number significantly.
Click here and sign the petition.

Beirut veterans even have a blog, and one entry caught my attention. Hezbollah continues to boast over the slaughter of our troops, after 22+ years.

The 1983 attack on American Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 was Hezbollah's coming-out party. To this day, the attack is lauded on its TV channel Al-Manar. A Hezbollah "poet," Atef Moussa, appeared on May 22, 2005, and said, "Who says we are afraid of war? ... Who can compare to the men of Hezbollah? ... These enemies [the American military] turned out to be as light as cardboard. Bush knows it. Beirut remains dangerous for the Marines. Our proof is here, they left in shame. Our people sail the seas of martyrdom."

Still believe that Beirut had no significance on American history?

View an informative flash presentation of events surrounding the October 23, 1983 massacre, narrated by Marines who were there. They recognize that terrorism was omnipresent long before 9/11.


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