Memorial Day: May We Be Worthy Of Their Sacrifice
Premium · May 31, 2021 ·

I was in an Iraqi family's home right off the main street in Fallujah on the day Saddam Hussein was hanged for his crimes against humanity. We watched the hanging on TV in the family's living room while fireworks and celebrations erupted outside.

We had entered the home at 2 am that morning to set up an observation post at an intersection, trying to catch an insurgent who was planting bombs there. We had been hit by an IED just a few days earlier on Christmas day while out on patrol.

In spite of having been frightened by a squad of Marines breaking into their home in the middle of the night, the family was gracious and kind to us. The women of the house cooked and fed us all day. The men smoked hookah with us in their living room. We had conversations with them in broken English. The eldest man of the house, who was a former professor from Baghdad, expressed hope for a better future after Saddam's fall.


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