A Mercedes truck laden with PETN explosive breached the barracks' defenses, causing one of the deadliest nonnuclear explosions in history 

The blast claimed the lives of 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers, marking a tragic loss of life for the U.S. military 

The attack was orchestrated by Iranian-backed Shiite terrorists, which later evolved into the infamous group known as Hezbollah 

The U.S. Marines in Beirut were on a mission to help stabilize a nation torn apart by eight years of civil war 

The bombing led to immediate French and Israeli airstrikes on terrorist training camps in the Bekaa Valley 

President Ronald Reagan designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in response to the attack 

General Paul Kelley's testimony before Congress highlighted the gravity of the situation and raised questions about the U.S. response to this new form of warfare 

President Reagan privately expressed his anguish over the decision to withdraw the Marines from Beirut, recognizing their unwavering dedication 

The Beirut barracks bombing served as a precursor to the broader war on terror, though it took time for American leaders to fully comprehend the nature of this conflict 

October 23, 2023, marks the 40th anniversary of the bombing, a day to remember the sacrifices made by the Marines, sailors, and soldiers in the pursuit of peace