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Sgt. Maj. Robert Brown, School of Infantry East sergeant major, pays respects for the fallen Beirut Marines of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, during a wreath laying ceremony at Camp Geiger Marine Corps Air Station New River, Oct. 23. The ceremony is one of three memorial ceremonies conducted in the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune area every year to memorialize the Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tavairus Hernandez

Wreath-laying ceremony at Camp Geiger honors fallen Beirut Marines

27 Oct 2016 | Lance Cpl. Tavairus Hernandez Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Marines, veterans and their families came together in remembrance of fallen Beirut Marines during a wreath laying ceremony at Camp Geiger on Marine Corps Air Station New River, Oct. 23.

The ceremony was the last of three memorial services held in the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune area to memorialize the Marines of 1st Battalion 8th Marines involved in bombing. The wreath was laid at the head of a stone template on Camp Geiger by Col. Steven Wolf, School of Infantry East commanding officer.

"It’s sad to see the families come through and understand that they lost a loved one in that bombing," said Wolf. "At the same time it’s good to see the Marine Corps, especially the Marines here at the School of Infantry East, come together to recognize the Marines that came before and their sacrifice."

After the memorial was over, Marines who graduated from the school were given the opportunity to talk to some of the former Marines in 1st Battalion, 8th Marines and get their perspective on what it means to be a Marine.

"I look around and I see some young Marines helping us out at the event and I think it’s a great way to pass on our traditions to them," said Wolf. "Even though it’s been quite a while since these Marines were killed in combat, we still come out here to honor and recognize them today. Understanding the service and sacrifice of the Marines that came before them is the legacy of the Marine Corps.

During the last phase of the ceremony, Marines, former Marines and their families formed two lines and either saluted or placed their hands over their hearts for the former Marines with 1st Battalion 8th Marines and their families led by Wolf.

"When I come here and I see young Marines, I feel so proud to know (they’re) the legacy going forward," said Kevin Jiggetts, a former Marine with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. "All of us that served there have a saying ‘our first duty is to remember’. People won’t remember it every day like I do, but people should remember to take five minutes of your day on Oct. 23 to remember."           

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