April Beirut Bombing, Reagan’s Response
Greetings! Like my fellow interns, I’ve been working on pulling documents for the Document of the Month Workshop! I have found a plethora of primary sources on a variety of fascinating subtopics within the topic of Lebanon, as well as a wide range of document types (correspondences, cables, speeches, etc).
I’d like to share with you all some documents on the April Beirut Bombing of 1983. To give a little background information on the incident, on April 18, 1983, the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was attacked by a suicide bomber in a truck full of explosives. 63 people, including 17 American diplomats, were killed and hundreds of people were wounded.
One of the many ways President Reagan responded to the attack was by speaking at a ceremony that honored victims. The ceremony was held at Andrew’s Air Force Base, Maryland, on April 23, 1983. In his tribute to the victims, President Reagan recognized the American service who were killed as “peacemakers” and denounced the attack as an “act of unparalleled cowardice.” Here is an image of the full-text of President Reagan’s remarks:
I was especially fascinated with two documents accompanying the text of President Reagan’s remarks. The “Schedule of the President” lists events that took place the day of the ceremony, starting from President Reagan’s departure from The White House on the Marine One. This document reveals President Reagan’s public response to a tragic event and gives readers a glimpse of a day in the life of the President, revealing the multitude of responsibilities a President holds. Below is the first page of the schedule:
A diagram maps out the Air Force Base and the ceremony, seating arrangements, placement of caskets, and more. It gives an “insider’s look” at the happening’s of the ceremony. See below:
Until next time, cheers! — Ji
Images Retrieved from Reagan Archives
Text, Office of the Press Secretary, April 23, 1983, folder “Arrival Ceremony, Andrews Air Force Base – Beirut Embassy 04/23/1983,” box OA 8496, Advance files, Ronald Reagan Library
Schedule, April 23, 1983, folder “Arrival Ceremony, Andrews Air Force Base – Beirut Embassy 04/23/1983,” box OA 8496, Advance files, Ronald Reagan Library
Diagram, April 23, 1983, folder “Arrival Ceremony, Andrews Air Force Base – Beirut Embassy 04/23/1983,” box OA 8496, Advance files, Ronald Reagan Library