Remarks to Reporters on the Death of American and French Military Personnel in Beirut, Lebanon

October 23, 1983

I'm not going to take any questions this morning because we're going right into meetings on the events that have taken place on this tragic weekend. But I would like to make this statement:

I know there are no words that can express our sorrow and grief over the loss of those splendid young men and the injury to so many others. I know there are no words, also, that can ease the burden of grief for the families of those young men.

Likewise, there are no words to properly express our outrage and, I think, the outrage of all Americans at the despicable act, following as it does on the one perpetrated several months ago, in the spring, that took the lives of scores of people at our Embassy in that same city, in Beirut.

But I think we should all recognize that these deeds make so evident the bestial nature of those who would assume power if they could have their way and drive us out of that area that we must be more determined than ever that they cannot take over that vital and strategic area of the Earth or, for that matter, any other part of the Earth.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 8:38 a.m. at the South Portico of the White House. He was returning from a weekend stay in Augusta, Ga., after conferring for several hours with his advisers on the bombing incidents.