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Posted on Jun 17, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Red Bulls in Iraq – Pt. 8: A Trip to Baghdad: Pt 3

By Cpt. Fernando A Franco


In my last entry, we were just coming out of a building at the Victory Monument, the parade grounds where Saddam used to march his troops to show the world he was in charge. We then walked about a half-mile to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument to Iraqi soldiers killed during the Iraq-Iran War and whose names are known only by God.

No matter which country you are in, there is a kind of sacred respect when you approach a monument to the nation’s fallen soldiers, and an even deeper respect when it is a tomb of unknown soldiers. From the distance, the monument looks like a giant oyster opened in half. I was told that it represents the shield of an ancient Mesopotamian warrior who is falling while still covering his body. Covering about half the size of a football field, it is impressive and magnificent.


The unknown soldier monument represents the shield of a
fallen warrior

Unknown soldier monument ramp

We walked through the parking lot surrounding the monument and approached the gate, guarded by Iraqi Army soldiers. I was surprised to find that the officer in charge was a female captain. The soldiers were very friendly and really didn’t do much of a check on us. I was also glad to see that they were wearing the Iraqi Army uniform with pride and were content doing their job.

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