Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Grisly Reminder

This week, I had an opportunity to talk to a Soldier who is a good friend of mine. In 2003, members from his unit volunteered to assist aide workers, Iraqi families, and the UN war crimes investigators as they dug up the mass graves left by the previous regime. The tortured and mutilated bodies of thousands of innocent men, women, and children had to be recovered in the months and years after the Iraq Invasion.

Many mass graves have been located all throughout Iraq. The al-Mahawil site, 50 miles south of Baghdad, held thousands of bodies. In fact, the al-Mahawil mass grave alone held more bodies in it than the total American death toll in Iraq from the start in 2003 to the present day.

Who did they find piled up in these pits? Women. Children under the age of 5. Athletes. Farmers. Shopkeepers. Businessmen. Politicians. Families.

Because of the graphic nature of this topic, I will not post any pictures of what they found. I leave it up to each American citizen to investigate it on their own. Here is a good place to start.

These Soldiers--my friends--still weep when they talk about their work at some of the grave sites. It has been nearly five years since these brothers and sisters were last there and it still shakes them to their very cores. My heart goes out to these selfless people who left a part of themselves at those sites. They volunteered to serve their country during war and, while they were there, they compassionately volunteered for the spiritually taxing mission of exhuming and investigating the tens of thousands of victims who did not live to see hope or justice.

The investigators are forever changed.

Pray for these men and women and for their families... and pray that there will always be men and women who are willing to do what is necessary to halt atrocities like this.

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