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February 15, 2005
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martyr's monument by mamamac martyr's monument by mamamac
the martyr's monument was built for those who lost their lives during the iran-iraq war. the u.s. military turned it back to the iraqi people right before we came home. it had been used as headquarters for the entire duration of our deployment.

the monument itself was very beautiful... with tunnels below the "teardrops" that had the names of all the martyrs carved into the marble walls.


(although i have been posting my iraq photos discouraging critiques, comments (other than what could technically be improved about the photo) are welcomed.)
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:iconlovewords:
LoveWords Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
I live near this place Nassib Al Shaheed, it will never be the same :(
You have a great pictures of Baghdad, it's where I live at the moment and unfortunately can't visit the places like before. I'm super happy to watch them here though :D 
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:icongreenboy:
Greenboy Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2005
Nice picture <o.
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:iconcrimson-ivory:
crimson-ivory Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005  Student General Artist
wow, i've never seen a building like that. i wish i could visit it!
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
it really is a beautiful place... the size of it alone took my breath away.
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:iconcrimson-ivory:
crimson-ivory Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005  Student General Artist
how tall is it?
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
oh, my god.... um... look between the two "teardrops," and you'll see a tiny figure... that man is 6 feet tall... (the half-domes are 50 meters tall.) you can see more about it here.
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:iconcrimson-ivory:
crimson-ivory Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2005  Student General Artist
oh, i see now. i had to full-view, lol. WOW. very big.
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2005
thank you.:D
(i always recommend full-view on everyone's work... you catch all the little details that way;) )
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:iconkoby001:
koby001 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
When were you there!? I was there and we used it as a headquarters
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
may '03 thru july '04....
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:iconamerican-anachronism:
I was watching the Military channel and they had a documentary from Iraq with some CO or Sergeant telling all the troops it's like their Vietnam wall and to treat it with respect.

Interesting.

AA
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
yes, exactly, which is why i didn't understand why we (when i say we, i mean the us army) used it the way we did. i'll never forget the first time i drove into the "camp" at the monument... driving on shiny marble... it just didn't feel right, and that was before i knew what the place was...
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:icondoorstopphotos:
doorstopPhotos Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
agree with the previous commenter it's like an egg split in two. The vehicle... either by fortune or design works in the picture, it indicates to us how huge those things really are. Love it! :boogie:
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2005
ahh... yes, the humvee was there. i took this out the window of my hemett (a really big truck with 4 axles. i am sure i spelled that wrong... the name of the truck is actually an achronym). we were waiting for the guy you see in the distance...
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:iconxburningembersx:
xBurningEmbersx Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2005   Photographer
Wow very nice i didnt even know about this monument, shows how much i watch the news. Great timing on the shot though :)
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
thank you. (they definitely don't show everything on the news...)
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:iconxburningembersx:
xBurningEmbersx Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005   Photographer
oh i agree on that one, and i know for a fact since i wrote a paper on censorship lol.
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:iconle-christoph:
Le-Christoph Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2005
Now I have got to favorite this! I've never seen just a great photo of the Iran-Iraq war monument. So theres tunnels under it that has ALL the names of the Iraqis who died? I can't remember how many were killed except that it was around a million or something. I've got to say, all of your photos are incredible. BTW, what exactly is your position in the military?
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
you know the viet nam memorial? well, this one is 100 times greater... this thing is HUGE! (look between the "teardrops" and you will see a soldier walking... that's the best way to get an idea of the gigantic size of the monument. behind the flag of iraq is a stairway that goes underground, to the interior of the monument. inside, there was a restaurant, shops, a museum, theater(!!!), and much, much more. the underground exterior was like a tunnel that went in a circle around the entire monument, and the walls of this tunnel are completely covered... engraved with the names of those who died. (and yes, it was around one million people, and ALL of their names are there. a small example can be seen here. the interior of the monument had the most beautiful marble floors... i was afraid to walk on it because it looked like deep, dark water. i think the american soldiers (officer)who decided to take the monument and use it as a base camp made a very poor decision. i could tell that this was a place that was to be treated with respect... there were fountains out front... beautiful fountains, and marble from the road to the monument itself, which was the size of a couple of football fields---WE DROVE OUR TRUCKS ON MARBLE!!!!! i had no knowledge of the history or meaning behind the martyr's monument, but because i was there, i wanted to know the history of the iraqi people and get a better understanding of the country i was in. i found out that this monument was (and still is, by the iraqi people) considered a sacred place, treated with the same respect and reverence as a mosque. i can't begin to tell you how sickened i am, now that i know this. the museum was looted by the time we took it as a headquarters base, but from what i understand, it was very beautiful. i believe the leadership was ignorant of the significance of this monument before (or even during) they decided to set-up there. but that is no excuse. i was able to find out about the place, and learn the significance of it, so why didn't they?
my stance on the war in iraq is a nonissue here because we are already there... what i think is important is how we, as americans conduct ourselves. i was horrified by the barbaric actions of some of my fellow soldiers on a daily basis. i'm not even going to touch on abu ghraib
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:iconle-christoph:
Le-Christoph Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
So you were a Sergeant? Mind if I ask why you no longer hold that rank? Or did you just leave the army all together and thats what you ment?

I can understand your feelings about wanting to leave the army. Missing so much when your children are so young is extreamly difficult, I wouldn't know but I can understand.

About the Iraqis...

I'm very educated in Iraqi history and such, but I know next to nothing about the people and their opinion due to the fact that no news organization cares about it. The last thing I heard from the Iraqis is that about 64 percent of them were for the United States taking out Saddam, this came out around April, during the massive insurgent uprisings.

So since you've gotten to know some Iraqis, mind if I ask what their opinions are about the war and Americans and what they hope and think will happen with Iraq's future?
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
i'm not a sergeant anymore because on the first of this year, i became free... a civilian! :boogie:

i was very interested in talking to iraqis when i was there... after all, we were in their country, and they certainly didn't ask us to be there. i was the operations sergeant/ 1sg's driver for my company in the beginning of the deployment, so i got the opportunity to talk to a LOT of different iraqi people due to the types of missions we conducted.

not every iraqi person feels the same about the war and coalition being there, but i never had anyone say they were better off with saddam. the biggest frustration i was told about was the fact that it took soooo long to rebuild the infrastructure of the city. (i was stationed in baghdad on baghdad island. i think their frustrations were well-founded. when we first invaded, a lot of mistakes were made regarding how things were going to run while we (coalition forces) settled it. so... while we were policing the streets of baghdad and building up our fobs, water and electrical plants continued to get looted. of course, there was a lot more that was discussed as i ventured out, but this was the most common complaint that i heard. (don't forget though, i left in july 2004, so the sentiment may have changed considerably... from what i see on the news, things are much different than when i was there.)

i won't go into all the conversations i had right now, but i'll leave you with this:
one day, my 1sg was inside a building speaking with the elders of the village just down the road from our camp, and i was outside with the vehicle, pulling security on the side of the street. an old clunker of a truck (i swear, the iraqi people are the most ingenious and resourceful people i have ever met!) pulls right up to me and stops. i pulled my weapon closer (at the ready, barrel down, of course) because this was early into the deployment, and i had no idea what to expect... anyway, there was no window, and this incredibly wrinkled old man with one or two teeth leaned out. with tears streaming down his face, he said, "shukran, shukran. no more saddam. i love you. thank you. shukran." (i'm sure i butchered the spelling of "thank you" but that is what he said. when he drove away, i had tears in my own eyes.
it was at that moment that i had an epiphany. it didn't matter why my government sent me there. i had my own agenda from that day forward: first was my survival, and second, was to do as much as i possibly could for the people of iraq, in hopes that i would touch just one person's life in a positive way... and i succeeded! i made some very good friends there (one of whom, i just spoke with today), and i plan on returning to iraq in the future. i have an open invitation from my friend and his entire family (who ALL voted, btw:w00t:!) i want to go as a humanitarian-- hell, in a few years, i want to go as a tourist! (lol) at any rate, i will return, and hopefully, i will be able to see the people who touched my life in a very huge way.
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
(shit. i hit submit by mistake...) anyway, where i left off... i am not even talking about the horrors of abu ghraib. i am talking about the daily treatment of the iraqi citizen. i made some pretty good friends of the iraqi people while i was there, and seeing what they went through under saddam's regime, AND what they go through at the hands of the occupation... just rips my heart out. (people can call me a bleeding heart liberal if they like. i don't label myself, but i DO have compassion for ALL people, and the way these people were being treated sickened me to the core.) i have lost contact with all but one of my iraqi friends... some of them have been killed by insurgents for working as interpreters and laborers for the coalition... killed for merely associating with us.


you ask me my position in the military... i am assuming you mean my rank and the job i performed... i was a sergeant (yeah, was...) and i drove a big truck. i won't get into the details of what my job was, but i hauled different classes of cargo through downtown baghdad every day for 15 months. at any rate, i was away from my children and my husband (although i did get to see him once or twice a month when our paths crossed while we were there. yes, we both deployed for 15 months.) for a long time. i am stationed in germany, so i had to take my children to the states to live with relatives about a month and a half before we deployed. i was apart from them for 17 months in all. my daughter was 18 months old when we took them to the states... she was potty-trained and having intellectual conversations like a "big girl" when we returned. i felt like i missed a lifetime. my son was 4 when we picked them up, and the two of them made it very clear to me that they didn't want me to be a "good guy" (what they call soldiers) anymore. i had already decided a year ago, (while we were sweating our asses of in 140-degree heat...LOL) that i was going to do whatever it took to get out of the army to be with my children. i will never leave them again. i was in the army for 8 1/2 years, and i always thought i would do at least 20. i love my country, and i loved being a soldier, but i am extremely unhappy with my government and the leadership of this country. i swore to obey the orders of the president when i became a soldier, but after this debacle (and that is putting it likely), i refused to blindly follow the orders of an idiot. am i bitter? yes. i am. (sorry for the rant... i'll quit now. :blushes: )

i hope i answered your questions, and you can read an editorial that educated me a bit more about the martyr's monument here
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:iconrareattitude:
rareattitude Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2005  Professional General Artist
Wow. looks like a cracked bird egg. :o
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:iconmamamac:
mamamac Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005
ha... yeah, it was called a number of things while we were there...
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:iconrareattitude:
rareattitude Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005  Professional General Artist
Hah! :giggle:
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