Cemetary Warfare

From Holden:

U. S. soldiers suffer in many ways:

In the battle to control one of the world’s largest graveyards, U.S. Marines and soldiers say they are coping with a lot, including lingering regret. The vast cemetery in Najaf is sacred to Shiite Muslims, perhaps 2 million of whom lie buried in miles of desert adjoining the shrine of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad.


“Wives, daughters, husbands,” said Sgt. Hector Guzman, 28, of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 5th Regiment. “You just know you’re destroying that tomb.”

The Houston native shook his head. “It doesn’t feel right sometimes.”

“We feel bad that we’re destroying, that we’re desecrating graves and such,” added Staff Sgt. Thomas Gentry, 29, of Altoona, Pa. “That’s not what we want to do.”