New York Archbishop Terence Cardinal Cooke celebrated mass New Year's Eve for U.S. Marines stationed in Lebanon as peacekeepers, and told them, 'The Lord will bless you for your service here. One of the biggest tasks, responsibilities, in the world is peace ... peace only happens when we work for it.'
The cardinal's informal sermon was given in the basement of a building near Beirut International Airport and occasionally was drowned out by the roar of jets taking off a few hundred yards away. The basement is used as a headquarters for the Marines, who have christened it 'Peacekeepers Tavern.' Cardinal Cooke told the men, 'This is a wonderful way to spend a New Year's Eve ... Now that is a pretty strong statement for a man from Manhattan.'