Crisis in Lebanon: Far from Shore


    My uncle, Al Morris, was very willing to answer any questions that I had for him. He told me that he would do his best to remember everything that he could. The event that he lived through was the crisis in Lebanon during the 1980' s, and he was stationed aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at the time. During this time, the U.S. had Marines stationed throughout Lebanon to try and keep peace and order in the country.On October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon, a yellow Mercedes truck drove to Beirut International Airport, where the United States Marines had its headquarters. It turned onto an access road leading to the compound and a circled parking lot. The driver floored his engine, crashed through a barbed wire fence in the compound parking lot and barreled into the lobby of the Marine headquarters. The suicide bomber detonated his truck, which contained 12,000 pounds of TNT. This explosion caused the lives of about 241 marines, and President Reagan called the attack a ]despicable act” and pledged to stay in Lebanon. The people really didn' t know that it had happened until the news broadcasted it. Many people were mad when they heard what had happened, and my Uncle Al completely agreed with them.


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    My uncle was affected by the bombing because he was stationed aboard the USS Eisenhower. He and everyone else aboard were on their way back to the U.S. because they had finished their time on the ship. Because of the bombing, the USS Eisenhower was told to turn around and go back into the Mediterranean. He told me that when he got the news, that it ]made me mad; we had to turn all the way around and go bomb them”. When they arrived near Lebanon, they began bombing it. He said, ]We didn t stop bombing until we ran out.” He was division officer on board the USS Eisenhower, and he was responsible for around thirty sailors and their equipment. He and his squadron, VA-12, had to stay on the ship for an extra two months because of the Lebanon crisis, and he told me that everyone was upset about not going home as soon. My uncle wasn 't very happy about having to go back at the time, but when I asked him how his views had changed since then, he said, ]I m glad we went back; it saved some lives.” He also stated that his appreciation for the military has changed. After serving his time, he appreciates the military more now for taking care of us.



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    The interview was very interesting, and I learned many new things that I never even knew occurred. It went more easily than I thought it would. My uncle likes to joke around, but he was quite serious when talking about this issue. I hadn't even known that this event had occurred until I interviewed my uncle. It opened my eyes to learning about things that have happened in history. I learned that my uncle isn't always a jokester, and that he can be serious about some things. I also realized how brave of a person he is, and came out with a new appreciation of him after the interview. I would rate this interview very positive because I've learned many new things as a student, and as a niece.



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