April 27, 2007

Latest from Yon

Don't miss the latest photo essay from Michael Yon, embedded in Iraq...

...Combat soldiers can sleep anywhere: leaning curled in hallway steps , with bricks as pillows. With practically nobody here to tell the stories of their hard work, sacrifice and heartening professionalism, we have left our soldiers behind in this war...

...When we came back into the library, a soldier was awake and up on a ladder. A company commander, maybe it was Captain Cook, asked something like, “What are you doing?”
“Looking for something to read, Sir.”
“Nope. This doesn’t belong to us. Get down from there and leave the books alone.”
“Yes Sir,” and the young soldier crawled down...

...Standing in the dark library, I wondered if the people of who studied and taught at this place had said a prayer before they left, beseeching God to protect their school, their books, their sanctuary.

On the roof one night, American artillery boomed through darkness and distance, and then after long pause, far in a different direction, an orange flash appeared, and finally a small rumble, and then more.

Car bombs that folks at home can see on the news, and read about in the papers —‘More than 50 killed in Baghdad attack today,’ ‘32 killed in Baghdad Car Bombing,’ ‘At least 40 Victims in Latest Iraq Bombing’—can be heard from the college.

Some soldiers wonder how many booms of death they hear over the course of a year—it’s next to impossible to keep an accurate count; explosions come from so many places here. Drifting into the smell of fine books in that library, there might have been a shudder from those shelves. Over the course of the war, the rumbles and crackles of thousands of human deaths must have coursed through these books. On the first night, after the raid, a chill from sweaty clothes caused me to shiver as I fell asleep hungry on the library floor....
Posted by John Weidner at April 27, 2007 7:00 AM
Weblog by John Weidner