survivors were rare by this time, most had already left this life but still we dug at a fevered pitch. Just about dusk we reached a Marine who had been on duty near or in the Comm Shack in the BLT, just a few feet from this heroes body I found a message on a yellow piece paper. I looked at it to decide if it was classified and had to be either secured or destroyed. When I saw the from line I realized this would be a highly classified document. I looked up as I read it and saw that hero lying there amongst the rubble, his life stolen in the early hours of a Sunday morning, my stomach turned and my heart shattered. I assisted in carrying him off the building and sat on a cot near him and wept.
The message was a warning from Mobile CIA to CINCLANT that an attack was probable in the next 2 days. It stated the dates of Oct 22nd through the 24th were the threat dates. It warned not only that we would be attacked but all members of the Multi-National Forces could be targeted. In that brief instant I saw my Government as complacent. I still love the United States and all she stands for but I have lost hope and trust in those who have the power. I now find ways to destroy success, insure my failure and have put a horrible burden on my family.
This message was ignored, but yet I found it lying next to a victim of the brutal act of mass murder. How did it find its way to this place in the rubble? If CINCLANT had not thought it important why had this Marine?
This all took place over 22 years ago, some moments are vivid and others are hazy. I want to remember everything I saw, heard, felt and smelled those days on the beach in Beirut but I can't, they evade me I will probably never know it all again.
All that can be said is on this plaque. We may never know peace but those who paid the ultimate price deserve justice, maybe this will give all of us peace and the trust will grow again.