Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On the Edge of History

I apologize for my long absence, but I have been on the road a lot lately with very limited internet access. I left my base two weeks ago for a two day meeting, and I just got back. In fact I just returned from Kuwait, which was never in my travel plans to begin with. Much has happened since my last post; the most notable of which was the election ratifying the Iraqi Constitution on October 15th. I think it is important to revisit the fact that the weekend of the vote was one of the most peaceful since the beginning of the war. Despite the looming threat of car bombs and suicide bombers 66% of registered voters cast their vote and thus took a significant step towards giving ownership of the governance of Iraq back to the Iraqi people.

During the day of the elections, our battalion chaplain had the opportunity to capture some photos of some local villagers at the market after they had voted. As he relayed the story he shared with me that when he noticed their dye stained fingers he motioned for them to raise them so he could take their photos. He said at first they gave him a puzzled look and it was apparent they didn’t understand why he was so interested in seeing the proof of their ballot casting. He continued by saying, “Sitting on the outside looking in we understand the significance, but they don’t see it yet. They don’t even realize they are on the edge of history.”

Maybe not now…but one day they will.


Blogger gary said...

Nice pictures John, but I gotta ask - were there no women that voted?

1:53 PM  
Anonymous monica said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing the photos and your experience. There are quite a few of us who do realize the significance of the history you are part of creating. And we appreciate it very much :)

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually. many women voted but they do not work in the market that John took these photographs. I am sure John could post a blog on the customs of the country but suffice to say, Women are not afforded the same status as they are in more Westernized countries. We saw many women voting on both elections.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

God bless those ink-stained fingers!

12:17 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

Ditto Bonnie! And thanks for allowing us the opportunity to see these pictures! Wow, history it is! And again, thank you for what you do.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Very moving photos. Thanks for what you're doing.

8:21 PM  

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