29 years ago today, Saddam Hossein attacked a weakened Iran in an attempt to conquer our country. The scars of this conflict, the longest conventional war of the 20th century are still very much visible in Iran. The legacy of the war is far reaching and is also quite visual. I'll try and explain what I mean by that. In Britain, there's virtually no visual reminder of the Falklands War or World War II except a memorial in the town centre or the poppies on Rememberence Day. Nothing particularly stirring, you can go home and brush it off, it doesn't haunt you.
In Iran, if you go into the cemeteries in towns and cities, you will always see the graves of those who died in the war with Iraq, stretching as far as the eye can see. What really hits home is the fact that graves usually have a picture of the man who died, who was usually a teenager, barely out of boyhood. It's quite haunting, even if you just look at the photos on the internet, it's still very moving.
These boys were probably younger than I am now, yet they shouldered an adult's burden and fought the war to defend their homeland. The Iranian and Iraqi people both suffered an indescribable pain due to two psychotic men: Saddam who started the war, and Khomeini who refused to accept a truce and finish it.
A particularly poignant picture, nearly three decades on, the agony is still felt by the mothers of Iran:
I write this entry for the memory of the innocents who died in this War, both Iranian and Iraqi and in the hope that nothing like this ever happens again.
Comments are most welcome.