New Documentary: One Week in October

Our newest Documentary Film, One Week in October, premieres this month as we remember the 40th Anniversary of the Beirut Bombing and Operation Urgent Fury

In October 1983, the United States found itself engaged in two very different military conflicts.

The U.S. military was stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, as part of a Multinational Peace Keeping Force, hoping to diffuse tensions between warring factions, following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

“It was perceived by many of the locals that the United States government had taken sides in what was essentially a Lebanese civil war,” remembers U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Michael Dick. “Then the players there began to perceive the United States as an opponent.”

Consequently, the U.S. became the target. Early on a Sunday morning, October 23, 1983, two truck bombs struck the Marine Barracks at the Beirut Airport, housing American and French service members. 220 Marines, 18 U.S. Navy sailors, and 3 U.S. Army soldiers lost their lives in the attack.

Meanwhile, half a world away in the Eastern Caribbean Sea, a second mission was underway on the island nation of Grenada. Communist infiltration and a government coup left the island government in chaos. Hundreds of American medical students, attending St. George’s School of Medicine, were caught amid the turmoil. Fearing for the students’ lives and acting on an appeal for help by other eastern Caribbean nations, President Ronald Reagan ordered a military intervention, occupation, and evacuation. Operation Urgent Fury launched at dawn on Oct. 25, 1983.

Within days, a terrorist attack and a daring rescue attempt made headlines and history. 13 Virginians lost their lives during these events. Their names are carved on the wall of the Shrine of Memory – Global War on Terrorism.

This October, in observance of the 40 th anniversary of these two all but forgotten military engagements, Virginia Veterans share their personal, emotional, tragic, and heroic stories in a brand-new documentary produced in partnership with Blue Ridge PBS, “One Week in October.”

The documentary film premieres in Roanoke, VA on Monday, October 23rd , on the 40th Anniversary of the Beirut attack. It premieres in Richmond as part of our “Leadership in America” speaker series on Wednesday, October 25th , the 40th anniversary of Operation Fury. The Leadership in America event will include a panel discussion with veterans from the film and a small reception.

The film will air on most PBS channels throughout Virginia and the D.C metropolitan area. Check your local listings for times. It will also be available on our website and youtube channel alongside our entire catalog of award-winning documentary films.