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The War on Terror for America began on the morning of October 23, 1983. This year will mark the 40th Anniversary of the Beirut Bombing that killed 241 US service men in a single day with a formulated suicide attack. Minutes later a second attack killed 58 French paratroopers. The same terrorist who planned these attacks helped plan September 11, 2001. 

There were over 10,000 American veterans who served in Beirut from 1982-84 as part of a multinational peacekeeping force that included French, Italian, and British troops. By the time the American forces departed over 270 Americans from 38 states and territories lost their lives.

On March 15, 2023 at 10 am Charlotte County will host Beirut Veterans and Gold Star Families at a special groundbreaking event located at the William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park in Port Charlotte FL to begin construction of the Beirut Peacekeepers Tower.

The State of Florida lost 22 service members in Beirut and is proud to host what will soon provide a place to educate, reflect, remember, and for some, to heal. In 2022 the state legislature passed, and Governor DeSantis signed a bill for a $2 million matching grant to help fund this project. The Beirut Peacekeepers Tower is part of a public-private funding partnership developed to tell an untold story of the American spirit. A story of service and sacrifice for the freedom of others. 

The park is named after William R. Gaines Jr., a Marine from Charlotte County who was among the 241 killed on Oct. 23. It is dedicated to Veterans and First Responders, highlighting the connection they have in protecting our freedoms. Information about the park can be found at