Binghamton marine remembered, Beirut bombing never forgotten

By Megan Carpenter

October 24, 2013 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 12:22 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 200 servicemen and women lost their lives in the Beirut bombings, 30 years ago on October 23rd, 1983.

Sixteen were from New York state, and one of them was Lance Corporal Mark Payne, a marine from Binghamton.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston worked with the county's Veteran Services Agency to remember Payne for his bravery.

They unveiled his plaque as a symbol of to honor his memory.

It sat next to a list of names of fellow marines who died that day.

Preston said the ceremony served as a reminder for us.

""Too often people forget and so we need to do these types of services to make them remember," Preston said, "to make everyone remember what the men and women in the military have done for us."

Members of her family have served in the military, and she said it's her reminder everyday to remember.

"I’ve seen it first hand when they come back," Preston said, " the struggles they’re up against everyday of their lives."

Like Payne, William Feldman spent time in Beirut as a marine in 1958.

During the ceremony, he presented Payne's mother, Sandra Lainhart, with one red rose.

He said the rose serves as a symbol of respect for fallen servicemen and women.

""We have a slogan going in Beirut Veterans of America," Feldman said, " it's our duty not to forget."

While he said he appreciates recognition, ceremonies like this one are bittersweet.

"Sometimes it's hard to do because I do military funerals just about every day and we see what takes place at these funerals," Feldman said, "we did Mark Paynes funeral when they brought his body back from Beirut."

The anniversary of the bombings also hit home for the Director of Broome County's Veteran Services Agency.

"The first thing that was pointed out to me by my company first sergeant was a plaque that was up above the duty desk," Brian Vojtisek said, "and it contained the names of almost an entire platoon for the company I was assigned to that was killed in the Beirut bombing."

Though the ceremony prompted mixed emotions, it was meant to be a celebration for Mark Payne, and a celebration to all those who continue to serve.

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