Iraqis Observe Moment of Silence to Mark "Mass Graves Day"
What if you had a mass grave day and no Western media noticed?
Wednesday marked the day back in 2003 when the first mass grave was uncovered in Mahaweel after the US & Allied Forces liberated Iraq.
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina wrote to tell about the moment of silence held Wednesday in Iraq commemorating those who died at the hands of the Baathists and especially during Saddam’s years in power.
Residents attend a ceremony for the mass burial of the remains of victims killed by Saddam Hussein’s forces, in Kerbala, 110 km (68 miles) south of Baghdad, April 28, 2007. The remains of 64 victims killed by Saddam’s forces during the 1991 uprising and discovered near a military base in Nassiriya were buried in a mass grave in Kerbala, local officials said. (REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammad)
There was only one article on this event from the mainstream news marking this solemn occasion.
The International Herald Tribune reported:
Traffic stopped in Baghdad’s main streets and squares Wednesday as Iraqis observed a moment of silence to mark a new national day of remembrance for the victim’s of Saddam Hussein’s regime who were buried in mass graves.
The Iraqi government declared May 16 as Mass Grave Day to commemorate the day when the first such grave was uncovered near the Shiite town of Mahaweel, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) south of Baghdad.
“It is a lesson that we will never forget,” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. “We want to build a civilized society in which humanity is respected.”
Cars and pedestrians stopped in place at noon, while policemen and Iraqi soldiers conducted a military salute.
During a conference held to commemorate the somber day, al-Maliki described the graves as one of “the ugly crimes” of Saddam’s regime and drew a parallel with the current daily attacks against Iraqis.
“The criminals are the same. In the past, they created the mass graves. Today, they explode, kill and behead innocent people,” he said.
“IRAQ’S LOST PEOPLE” During the rein of Saddam Hussein, Hundreds of political opponents were executed in prisons; while thousands more, mostly Shiites were buried in mass graves in the south. The terror he created prevented anyone from asking questions when a relative went missing. With the fall of the brutal leader, Iraqis went seaching. They watched as the dead were unearthed by the thousands in the killing fields near Hilla. Those coming to identify loved ones could finally begin to put the past to rest. In the town of Mussaib, over 400 bodies recovered from mass graves are brought to the Isamic Youth Center, where families walk among the dead in search of their missing relatives. (POY)
An Iraqi man cries openly and kisses the plastic bag containing the remains of his uncle, who had been missing for more than a decade. (NPR)
A woman cries over bags containing the remains of her daughter at the site of a mass grave in Mahawil, Iraq. (AFP)
A child’s garment found in a shallow Iraqi mass grave. (CPA photo)
Today… Tony Blair comes to the United States for the last time as British Prime Minister.
This is one American that thanks him for helping to liberate Iraq.
Jules Crittenden describes the kite-flying lifestyle under Saddam.