President Ronald Reagan
Baptist Fundamentalism '84 Convention

Washington, DC  Convention Center
April 13, 1984
Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff was present in Beirut,
Lebanon, October 23, 1983, at the time of the
truck bomb attack.

Then serving as one of the Sixth Fleet Chaplains,
attached to the staff of Commander Sixth Fleet,
onboard the flagship USS Puget Sound, in Gaeta,
Italy, Rabbi Resnicoff was a frequent visitor to the
Marines in Beirut.  He flew to the Marine compound
on Friday, October 21, 1983, to lead a memorial
service for Allen Soifert, a young Marine from New
Hampshire killed by sniper fire.

When the Marines offered to fly him back to Italy on
Saturday, he explained that--unless life was in
danger--he did not travel on the Jewish Sabbath
(sunset Friday through sunset Saturday), and would
therefore wait until Sunday.  At 6:20 A.M. that
Sunday, Oct 23, 1983, the suicide truck bomb attack
occurred, ultimately taking the lives of 241 American
military personnel, and severely wounding many more.

Four days following the attack, then-Vice President
George Bush led the White House team that visited the
site.  The Vice President requested that Rabbi
Resnicoff write a report of the attack and the rescue
effort, from his point of view as a Chaplain, and send it
directly to the White House.

On April 13, 1984, when President Reagan delivered
the keynote address to the Baptist Fundamentalism '84
convention led by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, he told the
attendees that he was going to do something that he
had "never done before." He was "going to read
another man's words" -- the report from Beirut that he
had received from Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff.

During the President's remarks, a small group led a
brief pre-planned demonstration, with chants and
banners, "Bread Not Bombs."  The video clip is
unedited, and includes this demonstration. It is a
poignant reminder of President Reagan at the height of
his strength, as he handles the hecklers with dignity and
power, and reminds us all of his respect for the
courage of our military personnel.
"Wouldn't it be
," he asks, "if a little bit of that Marine spirit
would rub off, and they would listen about brotherly
View the text of the original report.

View the text and video of the
Presidential speech,  click here.