An American Hero.
Pfc. Rui Manuel A. Relvas, died on October 23, 1983, his life was taken in the Marine Corps Barracks terrorist bombing attack in Beirut, Lebanon.
Pfc. Relvas was a Portuguese-American from Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Portuguese Heritage Commission will be honoring Pfc. Rui Manuel A. Relvas and the other soldiers who lost their lives in the Beirut terrorist attacks, on Memorial Day. We invite anyone who wants to join us to refer to our calendar do events for more details.
Remembering a son
He wrote her all the time. "Mommy, when I come home, I want you to close the store for a week, make me all the good meals".
That was many years ago, when Josephine Relvas could still hold the letters, beam at how her Portuguese cooking filled her son's thoughts thousands of miles away in Beirut, and wait for him to come home.
Those letters will forever fill her thoughts, cloaked in a bitter tragedy shared by the families of Pfc. Rui Manuel A. Relvas and the other 240 Marines killed in the terrorist bombing of their barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983.
Beirut Marine Corps Barracks History
In the summer of 1982, at the request of the Lebanese government, the United States agreed to establish a U.S. Military presence in that country to serve as a peacekeeping force in the conflict between warring Muslim and Christian factions. On March 24, 1983, the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received orders to Beirut, Lebanon in support of that commitment.
In the early morning of October 23, 1983, the First Battalion, 8th Marines headquarters building was destroyed by a non-Lebanese, terrorist-driven truck laden with explosives. The resulting explosion and the collapse of the building killed 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers.
The loss of these brave men stunned the Philadelphia Portuguese-American community.
Philadelphia Beirut Bombing Memorial
241 servicemen killed in the
Beirut, Lebanon terrorist bombing In Memoriam
to the Philadelphia Marine casualties of the Beirut Peace Keeping Mission
Cpl. Moses Arnold, Jr. • Sgt. John J. Bonk, Jr. • Cpl. Thomas A. Hairston • Sgt. Gilbert Hanton • Cpl. John F. Muffler • Sgt. Rafael Pomales-Torres • PFC. Rui Manual A. Relvas • Cpl. Louis J. Rotondo •
Sgt. Allen D. Wesley
If you forget my death,
then I died in vain.
October 20, 1985
Erected 1985 by the families of Philadelphia Marine casualties of the Beirut Peace Keeping Mission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Markers Attached to Sculpture marker series.
Location. 39° 56.694′ N, 75° 8.56′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County.
* Walkway North and East of Front and Spruce.
* Memorial is in the Veterans Memorial Park, about 100 feet WSW of the intersection of Columbus Blvd and Dock Street.
*Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.