North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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October 9, 2013

Updated: Memorial ride honors Beirut bombing victims

Gardendale man among the 241 American troops killed in blast

GARDENDALE — A north Jefferson ministry is keeping alive the memory of a local man who was killed in a military-related action 30 years ago.

Jimmy Ray Cain was killed on Oct. 23, 1983, in the bombing of American and French military barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 299 people, 241 of whom were American service members. Cain was a medic in the U.S. Navy, attached to the Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.

He was among seven Alabama service members killed as a result of the explosion, which occurred when a truck loaded with the equivalent of six tons of TNT purposely crashed into the barracks.

The Marines were in Beirut as peacekeepers following the invasion of Lebanon by Israel.

Cain’s parents, Ray and Doris McDowell of Gardendale, are working with Jimmy Ray Kennedy of the Daystar Church International Motorcycle Ministry in Jesus LLC to organize a memorial service to mark the 30-year anniversary.

The Not Forgotten motorcycle ride and memorial is Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Black Creek Park in Fultondale.

In addition, there are events at the park all day including singing by various groups. There will also be food for sale, along with commemorative T-shirts, wrist bands and patches. Drawings for give-aways will take place after the ride.

Mayor Jim Lowery is scheduled to speak, along with a representative of the Wounded Warriors Association. American Legion Post 255 in Fultondale is also participating.

All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Family Foundation.

There is no charge to participate in the ride, but Kennedy requests that all riders donate to the foundation.

The ride starts at 9:30 a.m. The first stop is in Gardendale, where Mayor Othell Phillips will present a wreath at the Veterans Memorial.

There will also be stops in Garden City and Hanceville before the riders travel back to Fultondale.

“I really feel honored to be able to do something like this,” said Kennedy. “We hope this grows into a continuing event to help the military people who are returning and their families.”

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