Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have no idea where yesterday's blog went. Let's try again. :)

We have been so busy it's been hard to keep up with everything. On Wednesday we visited Halabajah. Halabajah lost 5,000 people in 5 minutes to the chemicals of Sadames regime. We visited a monument housing hundreds of photos of the aftermath and a three dimensional exhibit depicting the scene on a street just after the attacks. There were several Kurdish men and women walking with us explaining what we were seeing. One man pointed out a large photo on the wall and encouraged us to have a closer look. It was a truck with a bed full of dead Kurds, men, women, boys and girls. Beside the back of the truck stood a little boy looking completely lost. Through an interpeter and more hand signals he explained that the truck was filled with members of his family and he was the little boy.

For the majority of people I know, it's hard to imagine this kind of loss. You can read about it in the history books, but being here and seeing it first hand was sobering. I just kept thinking that 1988 was a good year. It was the year Myron and I got married. I felt guilty for having had such a happy year when I was oblivious to the horrors these people were suffering.

For the Gold Star moms, I think it was difficult to see, but it gave them comfort knowing their children died trying to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. For all of us, it made the horror of Saddam Hussein real. After visiting the monument we went to one of the cemetery's and laid flowers on a monument there.

Standing on the hill in the cemetery it was quiet and still. As you turned in a 360 degree circle you could see all the little houses or huts these people live in but before your eyes get to the houses, you see hundreds and thousands of headstones.

This is the saddest place I have ever visited.



  1. Cindy, not only are you an amazing photographer, you are a very touching writer.

  2. Allie - Thank you. If you want a really good description of where we are and what we are doing, you should read Ann Hicks blog on But thank you. I thought about you all the other night when I was missing book club. I hope you had a good discussion. :)

  3. Cindy, what an incredible experience. I am sure that experiencing the magnitude of the losses here would forever change you. It is incredible to me, how we as Americans take some much for granted. We are only Americans by the grace of God and enjoy the freedom we have because of the unimaginable sacrifices made by the men and women you and the others are honoring with you story and photos. May God bless each of you!

  4. wow I can't believe you went to Halabjah. You had written on my blog before. Do you still need to talk to me. I'm's been a crazy busy couple months for me. I love reading about your trip.