Groundbreaking took place in Charlotte County, Florida on Wednesday to start construction of the Beirut Peacekeepers Tower at the William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park. This memorial honors those lost 40 years ago in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon during the Civil War; 22 of these were from Florida.

The Beirut Peacekeepers Tower project, a $2 million public-private funding partnership in Florida, was established in 2022 to commemorate and honor personnel who served as members of the U.S. Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). The purpose of the project is to share the story of the American spirit and its commitment to serve and sacrifice for freedom, with this Tower symbolizing courage, service and commitment.