PRESS RELEASES 2007
On the Anniversary of the U.S. Embassy Bombing: U.S. Embassy Commemorate Lives Lost in Lebanon in the Service of the U.S. Government
April 18, 2007
U.S. Embassy staff, former employees and family members participated in a remembrance ceremony, April 18, 2007, for the 61 American and Lebanese victims of the Embassy bombings of April 18, 1983, and September 20, 1984. The ceremony, at the Embassy compound in Awkar, was held in front of a memorial for the Americans, Lebanese, and one Tunisian who died serving the U.S. Government in Lebanon between 1976 and 1995. The words “They Came In Peace” and the names of the victims are engraved on the memorial.
In remarks for the occasion, Ambassador Jeffrey D. Feltman noted that “it is a very sad day in the United States as our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. I stand with you at our own Embassy memorial to victims of senseless violence with an American flag at half mast in memory of others whose lives were cut short—too soon and without reason—as our colleagues’ lives were too. As we’ve sadly learned in such heinous acts, terrorism and violence know no national boundaries. And the United States and Lebanon have both suffered—as the names etched in stone here remind us so poignantly. As the names and nationalities of the Virginia Tech victims remind us, also, our families are international and interconnected. With two promising Lebanese-American youth among the victims, we are reminded that grief and loss touches the lives of both Americans and Lebanese, in both the United States and Lebanon."
Ambassador Feltman said: “Those whose names are engraved on this wall are individuals—like each of us here—who believed hard work would achieve a better life, for themselves and for their country. They believed that building a strong relationship between the United States and Lebanon offered hope of a better life for Americans and Lebanese. The hundreds of people killed and injured in the Embassy bombings and other attacks were men and women like each of us, committed to our jobs, our colleagues, our families, and our countries. But by working for the United States, they became targets of terrorists for whom human life has little value. Those who made the decision to murder our Lebanese and American colleagues and wound our Embassy family could not, however, kill our shared dreams of a peaceful, democratic Lebanon with strong, mutually beneficial ties to the United States.”
“I remain optimistic that the partnership between the United States and the Lebanese people can lead to the achievement of a free and democratic Lebanon with opportunities for all of Lebanon’s diverse peoples. The most meaningful tribute we can pay to our fallen colleagues is to rededicate ourselves to realizing that dream and to ensure that threats, terror and violence do not determine Lebanon’s destiny. The United States and the American people stand with Lebanon and the Lebanese people today, as two peoples united in a single goal, to build and support a secure, sovereign, democratic, united and prosperous Lebanon.”
Read full text of Ambassador Feltman’s remarks.