MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP JOHNSON, N.C. -- With the words “they came in peace,” etched on the Beirut monument setting the stage as a group of children listened attentively to a fatherly figure while the monument to the World Trade Center attacks looms ominously behind them.
Michael B. Ellzey, a member of the of the Jacksonville Beirut Memorial Group spoke about terrorism and bombing that occurred at the U.S. barracks in Beirut, Lebanon to a group from the Young Marines Program of Central, VA June 21.
“It is a forgotten conflict where we lost Marines and we want to remind them of what was sacrificed,” said Les Womack, commanding officer of the Young Marines of Central, VA.
Drawing a parallel between the Beirut bombing and the terrorism attacks of the WTC is important because these children need to understand that terrorism was prevalent in the past, is prevalent now and will continue being prevalent in the future, said Ellzey.
“Terrorism is something very prominent and can happen anywhere,” added Ellzey.
The Beirut Memorial is in remembrance of the terrorist bombing that occurred the morning of October 23, 1983 that killed 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers.
This event is a stop for the Young Marines while spending the entire week at a squad bay on Camp Lejeune to learn about the Marine Corps through interaction with Marines and the study of the Corps history, added Womack.
With more than 13,000 members, the Young Marines is a not-for-profit youth education program for boys and girls 8-18, which focuses on character building using a combination of self discipline, teamwork and leadership, according to http://www.youngmarines.com.