Driving the Story Home

“This year (2023) is the 40th anniversary,” said Mottola, who suffered injuries during fighting that took place after the main attack. “The loss on Oct. 23, 1983, was the largest single loss of Marines since Iwo Jima in 1945. I personally lost [Marine Corp] brothers in combat. I wondered how many Gold Star families lost someone. I wanted to honor their sacrifice and never forget. [The traveling wall] will be a legacy left for their next generations.” 

While The Beirut Traveling Memorial Wall is still in the planning stages with the exact scale yet to be determined, Mottola will have it fashioned as a replica of the permanent wall in Jacksonville. He is awaiting design approval from Jacksonville, and funds raised will purchase supplies to build the traveling wall. 

“One of the goals is to teach visitors about that event,” he said, “because many people do not know about the Beirut conflict.” 

The finished wall will be transported in a trailer that will also serve as a traveling museum, with exhibits about the historic event. 

“If it takes me until the day I die, I will make sure I go to the hometown of every name on the wall,” he added.

Local event to spotlight traveling Beirut Memorial Wall project
Partial Article By Macon County News, March 2, 2023
Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer