Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Whom I remembered on Memorial Day

Yesterday it was Memorial Day; a dazzling squad of all services raised their standards saluting the dead and warriors of an army who have been fighting in foreign lands for last 100 years. They have constituted the legions of the last imperial power, whose legacy relies much on another empire, Romans of ancient time.

I closed my eyes and remembered some other warriors, some other veterans. For last 200 years they have been fighting on the doorsteps of their homeland, they shed blood, they suffered in silence, and they were kept in dungeons. They faced their enemies barehanded, they fought with their nails to open a way. They have died in mountains of Kurdistan, in deserts of Khuzestan. No matter what tribe they were from, the enemies of Iran killed them without discrimination.

I remembered Basijis of Shalamcheh and Howeizeh, Guards of Majnoun, fighter pilots of 1981, navy commandos of Khorammshahr, sailors of Peykan, Sahand, Joshan. I remembered that unknown lieutenant of a western border post close to Mehran who hold his post for a day in front of an armored column. I remembered Chamran, Hemmat, Kharazi, Bakeri, Sayyad Shirazi, Fakouri, I remembered my father. I remembered men who went into battle like going to a wedding. I remembered the veterans of Imam Hussein Division, the soldiers of Hamzeh 21st, victorious 77th, I remembered men who would keep an appointment even over a hill in the middle of machine gun nests.

Yesterday I remembered men in green, blue, khaki and white uniforms. No matter from what service, or what organization Army, Guards or Basij, they always wear the color of dust and blood with a hint of sky in their eyes. I remembered men and women of Iran. No matter the disagreements, I remembered them; I remembered the simple fact that they died for a country, my country, and her cause. I remembered they did not die in a foreign land, but in defense of their very own homeland. I looked at the shinning standards, and I remembered the Iranian soldier, no matter the look he is the standard of honor, sacrifice and valor. Yesterday I remembered all fallen warriors of Iran. They are the reason for me to be Iranian, to be proud of being Iranian.

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