BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- October 23 will mark the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest days in America's involvement in the mideast as well as in the history of the U.S. military.
It was on October 23, 1983 that a truck bomb exploded outside a building in Beirut, Lebanon killing close to 250 Marines, navy personnel and soldiers. They were part of a peacekeeping force in a country ripped apart by civil war. Islamic militants would later claim responsibility for the attack.
Mark Nevells was a corporal with the Marines. He was about 100 yards from the target building when it blew up. He says, decades later, most people he meets cannot remember what happened in Beirut. Nevells says he would like to see that change.
"It's a single event...that a lot of people forget about," the Orono native said on Tuesday, "but the reason I'm here is because I don't want people to forget that we lost 241 Marines in one day..and the rest of us that were there will never forget those people..never."
Among the hundreds who died that day was a Marine from Maine, Corporal Bruce Howard from the town of Strong. Next week people will gather at the Beirut Memorial in North Carolina to mark the anniversary of the attack.