Letters | Terror at the Marathon

Condolences from Baghdad

I’m an Air Force officer at the US Embassy in Baghdad serving as an adviser to five Iraqi colonels. When I saw them on Tuesday morning, the first thing they did was express their sincere shock, sadness, and indignation about Monday’s attack at the Boston Marathon. When they learned that a dear friend of mine was at the race, they became even more upset, and it didn’t matter to them that she was miles from the finish line when it happened.

These guys come from a country that has been at war for 10 years, where bombs go off in people’s houses, cars, or on the streets almost every day. They live in fear of being murdered simply because they have taken a stand to build a nation that offers their children a future. After all of that, they still found compassion for the people of a faraway city they’ve never visited in a country their nation has fought two wars against. It brought tears to my eyes.

I am passing along their prayer for the people of Boston, along with their hope that your great city will rise above this sad day. If my Iraqi brothers can find hope to keep going, I know that Boston will, too.

Major Chuck Hansen

B aghdad