President Bush gave a speech in Cleveland today about the war in Iraq and spoke at length about Tall’ Afar. In particular, he read from the letter sent to the 3rd ACR from the Mayor of Tall’ Afar. He quoted my favorite part:
One of the most eloquent is the mayor of Tal Afar, a courageous Iraqi man named Najin. Mayor Najin arrived in the city in the midst of the al Qaeda occupation, and he knows exactly what our troops have helped accomplish.
He calls our men and women in uniform “lionhearts.” And in a letter to the troopers of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, he spoke of a friendship sealed in blood and sacrifice.
As Mayor Najin had this to say to the families of our fallen: “To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead but alive, and their souls are hovering around us every second of every minute. They will not be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child and in every flower growing in this land.
“Let America, their families and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.”
It was a great speech, and President Bush followed it with an unusually long question and answer period. He was funny, down to earth, and forthcoming.