Chapter 6



“…Peace to you, O Iraq!
Peace to springtime, coming forth from the fissures of the earth!
Peace to Baghdad, redeemer and redeemed!
Peace to Basra, to its burnt palm-trees!
Peace to Kirkuk, to its red sky!
Peace to Amara, to its marshes mined with dynamite!
Peace to the fourteen provinces!

Thus does the war get up from sleep.
A man takes it to a hillock
And leaves it in History.
Then he wipes away his tears with a rose
Which he hurls at a hazel bird,
Which rises up from its ashes
And soars far away.”


From the poem “Every Morning the War Gets Up from Sleep” by Fadhil al-Azzawi
Translated by Salaam Yousif and Melissa L. Brown, and the poet for Iraqi Poetry Today, Modern Poetry in Translation No. 19, edited by Daniel Weissbort and guest editor Saadi A. Simawe. King’s College London. Permission granted to reproduce excerpt by Saadi Simawe, editor.

The Road to War

The current U.S. involvement in Iraq has its origins in conflicts dating back to 1990. On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened to move into Saudi Arabia. The United Nations quickly imposed economic sanctions and ordered Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. When this withdrawal did not occur, the Persian Gulf War officially began with the bombing of Iraq by coalition forces.

In late February a successful ground invasion followed, and by March Iraq accepted a cease-fire that outlined its suspension of programs for weapons-of-mass-destruction and an end to its support of international terrorism. In April 1991, a no-fly zone was created over northern Iraq and in August 1992, another over southern Iraq.


In April 1993, an Iraqi-led assassination attempt in Kuwait on President George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, failed. In response, the United States fired Cruise missiles at an Iraqi intelligence building in Baghdad.

Two years later on April 14, 1995, the UN allowed Iraq to resume some of its oil exports to buy food and medicine as part of an “oil for food” program. However, despite these humanitarian efforts, tensions increased in March 1996, when Iraq denied UN inspection teams access to sensitive military areas.

From 1996 to 2001 Iraq, led by the powerful regime of Saddam Hussein, continued its pattern of allowing UN inspectors unrestricted access and then withdrawing its cooperation from UN monitoring bodies.

George H. W. Bush
41st President of the
United States

george bush
George W. Bush
43rd President of the
United States

In his State of the Union address in January 2002, President George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, named Iraq as part of the world’s “axis of evil” and continued that year to outline the “grave and gathering danger” of Iraq. In October 2002, Congress authorized the use of force against Iraq.

UN weapons inspectors continued their work and reported to the UN Security Council in January 2003 that they still had concerns regarding undeclared weapons material.

On March 16, 2003, the leaders of the United States, Britain, Spain and Portugal issued a one-day deadline for diplomacy and warned that war could start immediately. On March 17 President Bush gave Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq or “face the full force and might” of the American military. Hussein did not comply. On March 20, 2003, the United States and coalition forces began their assault on Iraq.


Saddam Hussein
President of Iraq from 1979-2003

Hussein was born in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, into a poor farming family. In 1955 he moved to Baghdad where he became involved in politics and joined the Baath Party, an Arab nationalist movement.

The Baath Party seized power in Iraq during a coup in 1968, and Hussein and his followers established the Revolutionary Command Council with absolute authority in Iraq. His regime was “characterized by brutal suppression of internal opposition.”

In September 1980 Hussein invaded Iran, and the Iran-Iraq War left Iraq with debts of about $75 billion. In 1990 to make Kuwait forgive its share of Iraq’s debt, Hussein invaded Kuwait, but an international coalition led by the United States rid Kuwait of the Iraqis in the conflict known as the Persian Gulf War, in which 425,000 American troops and 118,000 allied troops fought.

In the mid-1990s the United Nations inspection teams attempted to verify that Iraq no longer was developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons – but during a series of international confrontations, Hussein was deemed to be out of compliance with UN sanctions. United States-led forces invaded Iraq in March 2003. Hussein was apprehended by U.S. military personnel in December 2003.


For additional information about the War in Iraq, please see the following online sources:

Tributes Submitted Online

Tribute to my son, Jeffrey Breton:

I am proud of my son who has served in the U.S. Army since August 1, 2000. He has been a member of the 2ACR and spent 15 months in Iraq. Thanks for keeping the U.S. safe for all Americans!

Leslie Soares, China

Tribute to my son, Michael J. Casey:

He proudly served in the U.S. Army, carrying on a tradition of loyalty, honor and respect. A loving son, grandson, brother, father and husband.

Jeanne M. Cameron, Merrill, Maine

Tribute to my husband, Staff Sergeant Timothy Smith:

Your family is very proud of you and all of your fellow soldiers of the 133d, Maine Army National Guard. You are making a difference for the people of Iraq. Thank you for your service.

Elizabeth Smith, Portland

Tribute to my brother, Sergeant Jeremiah J. Holmes:

In support of my brother, who leaves behind a wife, a 1-year-old son, countless family members and friends who miss him every day. We are all able to live free to do what we wish because of the ultimate sacrifice Jay has made to this country. I love you, Jay, and pray for the safety and support of those still defending us all.

Nancy Jusseaume, Wells

Tribute to my son, Christopher Mallett:

My son Chris is not only defending the right to vote for the people of the United States, he is also working for democracy in Iraq. I am proud of him and all of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to improve a country thousands of miles away. My son has learned a lot from the Iraqi people and has matured beyond his 21 years. His family prays for his safe return as well as the safe return of all of his fellow soldiers in the 133rd Maine National Guard. We are proud of all of you.

Donna Sorkin, Bangor

Tribute to my Fiance, Jason M. Bruns:

Jason is a United States Marine that left for Iraq in February 2004, and returned to California on June 24, 2004. Though his time was short in Iraq he was missed very much. While he was gone he supported me financially. This man kept a brave face and not one tear fell from his eyes as we spent our last night together. He was calm and collected even though he was scared. He was a rock to lean on even when he faced certain danger. I am so proud of him for all he has done for me and his country. I know I can never repay him for what he has done but this is just a thank you.

Pamela Rogers, Westbrook

Tribute to my Son, Jason Cooper:

Third time in Iraq, Captain Cooper, with the Third Infantry Division, 1-10 Field Artillery! We THANK YOU and MISS YOU!

Lynne Cooper, Bangor,ME

Tribute to my Friend, Phillip St.Amand:

Phil served bravely with the 619th Army Reserve from Auburn. He kept in touch with his 7 year old daughter by letter, phone & e-mails constantly, not letting her forget he loved her, and missed her. We are very proud of his service, and thank him.

The Dow Family, Scarborough

Tribute to my Nephew, Cpl Jason Lyons:

Marine Corporal Jason "Jake" Lyons, an Active Marine Reservist who is currently serving his second tour in Iraq as a Marine Corps Infantry Man. He is greatly missed by all and his family is extremely proud of his character and service to his country at a time when it is needed. The Present Greatest Generation!

Matt Lyons, Cape Elizabeth

Tribute to my son, Michael S. Cataldi:

This tribute is to my son who is currently serving in the U.S. Marines. He has had one tour of duty in Iraq and does the same job in the Marines as his grandfather did in WWII.

Arthurlene J. Eaton, Wells, Maine

Tribute to my friend, Ron Brooks:

This is to honor Ron and my other brother State Police officers serving in Iraq. God bless them.

Frank Mongue, Alfred, Maine

Tribute to my husband, SFC Ronald L. Brooks:

This is a tribute to my husband SFC Ronald L. Brooks, part of the 3rd/304th, 98th Division out of Lewiston/Auburn, serving in Iraq since October of 2004. We are very proud of everything he is doing over there. This has been a difficult sacrifice on both our parts, but especially for him putting his life on the line everyday for his country while being away from his home and family. He is a loving husband and father, and a devoted soldier. He is missed and loved very much by all who know him and we hope to have him home safely very soon.

Lori Jakob, and Buddy Brooks, Waterboro, ME

Tribute to my Husband, Jedediah Philpot:

After spending over a year in Iraq, I'm so happy to have you home again... and in one piece at that! You did such a great job babe, and I'm proud of you.

Shasta Philpot, Ellsworth, ME

Tribute to my Husband, SSG Perry Malcolm:

I am proud that you volunteered to go with the 152nd when you could have stayed home with me and avoided this trying deployment, you will never regret your sacrifice. Thank you for making this world safer from terrorism for me, our families, and all Americans. You are my hero and I love you!

Ruth Malcolm, Waterville, Maine

Tribute to my A Friends Son, SSGT John M. Aldus Jr.:

Jack we are very proud of you for what you are doing for our country...we will all miss you and we will pray each and everyday. Jack has been in the army serving his country for 16 years and is now returning back to Iraq in November, 2005. Jack again we are very proud of you and all your family and friends will be praying each and everyday for your return back home to your family.

Nanette, Belfast, Maine

Tribute to my family friend, Jesse Philbrick:

We are very thankful for your service on behalf of all our citizens. You served with honor, pride and dedication. It is great to have you home again!

Littlefield Family, Lyman, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Peter Beloff:

Thank you for honoring our country and your fellow soldiers by serving in the Persian Gulf War. Your family is very proud of you.

Peg DuBrow, Gardiner, Maine

Tribute to my Father, 1st Sgt Michael D. Jones:

In Memory of 1st Sgt Michael Dean Jones March 11, 1961- March 3, 2005 133rd Engineer Battalion.... Forever in our hearts!!

Alissa Jones, Unity, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Captain Christopher Scott Cash:

I am honoring by beloved son Captain Christopher Scott Cash, who proudly served our nation in the U.S. Army and later served in Iraq as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He served for nearly 17 years. On June 24, 2004 he was killed in Baqubah, Iraq while leading his men against insurgents. He was a proud American, soldier, athlete, father of two sons and my son. He lives in my heart forever. God Bless all of our soldiers.

Nancy L. Kelley, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Tribute to my Grandson, Brad T. Bowden:

He left as a 19 year old came back as a wounded young man with a purple heart and other medals but with a limp, almost no hearing left and other illnesses such as PTSD. He will never have his young man days back. He has seen so much and been through so much at his tender age and he is not alone, which is the sad part of this. If it was not for men like him we would not have the freedoms we have and that we take for granted. May we realize one day if this does not work we all need to work together for peace in the world and not let our young men pay the price.

Myrtle Brown, Augusta , Maine

Tribute to my Son, Justin R. Roy:

Justin,You enlisted when you were just 17 and reenlisted last year for another 6 years, because you felt it was the right thing to do. At the age of 22 you've accomplished a lot. Your sacrifice for our freedom makes us so proud of you. You and your shipmates are forever in our thoughts and prayers. We love you, Mom & Dad

Allison Roy, Sherman, Maine

Tribute to my Wife, Karen E. DeRaps:

I want to thank my wife for her selfless service to our country, our freedom, and God above. I pray for peace, comfort, and a safe return home. Forever & Always yours, Scott

Scott DeRaps, Augusta, Maine

Tribute to my brother-in-law, Joao Salomao:

Thank you Joao for such a huge sacrafice.

Cheryl Salomao, South Hampton, MA

Tribute to my Husband, Scot MacKenzie:

Scot is a very devoted man. To the army, to his family, and to his job. He always gives 100% in everything he does. He would do anything for anyone, he has a great sense of humor and always makes us laugh. He is also a wonderful father to our little girl. This is his second tour to Iraq in five years. Although he is always missed and loved, I am very very proud of my soldier. I love you.

Stacey MacKenzie, Lewiston, Maine

Tribute to my Son, 1LT Charles Weaver, IV:

Two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, this Army Ranger and his recon teams won numerous awards including the "Bronze Star" for their valor and accomplished objective in removing Al-Queida from their province...we're so proud!! Mom and Dad

Charles Weaver, III, No.Yarmouth, Maine

Tribute to my Nephew, Sgt. Matthew Caiazzo:

Matt is serving in Iraq proudly and honorably by helping others as a medic. We all want him home and thank him for his service and sacrifices.

Uncle Derry & Aunt Kathy, Westbrook, Maine

Tribute to my employer, Andy Slater:

To honor you for making the world a better, safer place, near and far. I'm proud of you!

Cyndi Swazey, Ellsworth

Tribute to my Daughter, Debra Turmelle:

Debra joined the Army Reserve in North Carolina to serve her country and further her education. With only one semester left in college she was called to serve in Iraq in 2003 for 12 months. As the selfless, caring person she is Debra has put her civilian plans on hold and remains in the Army Reserves currently stationed in Germany. I think of her daily and hope she comes home safe and sound. We are so proud of Debra and miss her very much. Love from Mom and Seth

Linda Edgerton, North Yarmouth, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Benjamin Stevens:

Our little boy has sacrificed for so many...thank you Benj

Lorna Stevens, Lee, Maine

Tribute to my Friend, Marshall Archer:

Thank you for all you have done.

Terry, Saco, Maine

Tribute to my Friend-Brother In Arms, Lance Corporal Kevin Haas:

OOH RAH!!! This Tribute is coming from the heart of a Marine to a Marine. Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) Kevin. I remember all the good times we have had and will have. He helped me out exponentially through Boot Camp from 12 June 06 till 8 September 06. Wish you the best with your future endeavors in the Corps.

Lance Corporal Jordan Elston, North Whitefield, Maine

Tribute to my My son, Matthew John Trott:

BOTH SIDES OF OUR FAMILY HAVE SERVED IN WAR,PAST/PRESENT.OUR SON,THE FIRST GREAT-Both Sides of our family have served in war, past and present. Our son the first great-grandson the first grandson born of native French Irish descendent still serves our family proud to this day he follows in our footsteps of freedom. We thank him. We love him. WOLIWON

Soctomah-Trott, Perry, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Derik Cormier:

You gave so much....God Bless you Derik.

Stephanie Cormier-Perro, Shapleigh, Maine

Tribute to my Friend, SGT Richard K. Parker:

From One Soldier to another, you will always be remembered and honored. Hoaah!

Bear Parker, Belgrade, Maine

Tribute to my Brother, Edmund McDonald:

Thank you for serving two tours in Iraq. You loved the work you did over there. I loved hearing your stories about the local Iraq people that you would meet and develop a relationship with. Thank you for serving with pride.

Christina, Portland, Maine

Tribute to my son-in-law, SSG Eric Ross:

Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you also for the wonderful angels you left behind.

Elaine Mockler, Greene, Maine

Tribute to my friend, Bill Gallagher:

Bill served for 27 years in the Army from 1981 to 2007; Bill was in support of, or participated in many of the armed conflicts during this time to include Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Even though Bill is from Texas, he has chosen to make his home here in Northern Maine, and has become a constant volenteer and leader of veterans affairs. Bill currently works for the Dept of Health and Human Services serving his fellow man in Fort Kent.

American Legion Post #133, Fort Kent, Maine

Tribute to my Brother, Major Joshua D. Sparling:

Tribute to my brother and best friend, Major Joshua D. Sparling MD, in support of my brother, who has proudly served his country in the 10th Mountain Division with distinction, honor, and bravery, thank you for all you have done. We are all so proud of you, and thankful to God you are home safe. It is because of soldiers like you that we live in this free country, you have made the world a better, safer place. Thank you – your loving brother

Nathaniel Sparling, Leeds, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Matthew Kent:

My son Matthew Kent has done six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in special forces, I cannot say enough how proud I am of you! The way you carry yourself, the husband and father that you have become and how other service members look up to you, speaks for itself. Fathers always want there children to be better themselves, I can always say with great passion that son you are my hero and I am so proud to have you for my son!! Please be safe and come back to your family. Love you son. Dad

Dennis Kent, Benton, Maine


We as parents are very proud of your service in the Maine Army National Guard and your service to the war on terrorism in Iraq. You are a credit to the service and we thank you for the time you spent over in Kuwait. God Bless you and each one who have served and defended their country and to the many who lost their lives trying to make this a better world.

Mary/Calvin Lawrence, Pittston Me

Tribute to my Son, James Andrew Elliott III:

Specialist Elliott served with the 399th Hospital in Tekrit, Iraq 2006-2007. He worked to save the lives of American service men and women wounded in combat. His selfless dedication to his Unit and love of service deems him the respect and appreciation of all Americans.

Colonel James Andrew Elliott Jr., China, Maine

Tribute to my son, Capt. Charles W. Weaver, IV:

Capt. Charles W. Weaver, IV(USA) of the 101st Airborne and US ARMY RANGERS fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, recieving 2 Bronze Stars and 2 Army Achievement Medals.

CWWEAVER, III, North Yarmouth, Maine

Tribute to my Son, Ryan Michael Celli:

Knowing we were at war after 9/11, Ryan joined our armed forces. He like all our other soldiers made a decision to stand on a line and face our enemies "so that our government; of the people, for the people, and by the people shall not perish from this earth." Gettysburg Address by: Abraham Lincoln.

Michael Celli, Brewer, Maine

Tribute to my son, Brent Lake:

We are honoring our son for his continuing service after two tours of duty in Iraq and the many other tdy's in the desert. At this time he is stationed at Ft. Hood,Tx and has 8 more years to retirement.

Al & Crystal Lake, Greernwood , Maine

Tribute to my Husband, Lt. James M. Bolinger:

James has a very high work ethic. He will do whatever it takes for his soldiers and is always optimistic. Although he is a bit modest and/or silly from time to time, he will expect to give and receive respect, always.

Melanie Bolinger, Corinth, Maine

Tribute to my Son, James A. Elliott III:

James joined the Army Reserves when he was 17 years old. Now at 25 and discharged, he has a life time of memories and proudly takes his place with all American patriots now and past.

COL Jim Elliott, Jr., China, Maine

Tribute to my son, Tyler R. Paine:

Tyler, I am filled with pride at the courage and fortitude you demonstrated during your tour in Iraq and every day since. You are an amazingly strong man and I am thankful and honored to be your mom.

Darlene Paine, Wilton, Maine

Tribute to my Granddaughter, Jennifer Bilodeau:

My Tribute to Jennifer, She is a very loving, caring and thoughful girl. A Grandmother could not be any prouder.

Theresa Bilodeau, Livermore Falls, Maine

Tribute to my Daughter, Sherry Demmons Thomas:

For the past 20 years you gave of yourself selflessly and endured absences from your family and friends. We are all very proud of you!

Dory Demmons, Brewer

Tribute to my Our Son-in-Law, Command Sargent Major Richard D Tufts Jr.:

Command Sargent Major Richard Tufts is a wonderful soldier, husband and father, a role model for many soldiers. He served three tour in Iraq. Now stationed in Germany. A truly wonderful person.

Angela Smith, Jay, Maine

Tribute to my Family, Nick Hei:

I want to thank him for fighting for our country unselfishly for so many years to keep us all safe. I truly respect him and all soldiers and veterans for everything they have done and are still doing for us. No one knows the strength and sorrows these men and women have to endure everyday!

Christy Newell, Skowhegan, Maine

Tribute to my Father, Eric Colby:

Thank you for your service protecting all Americans.

Alexandria Colby, Limington, ME

Tribute to my cousin, Tyler B. Swisher:

Tyler served and ultimately gave his life because he believed it would make the world safe for his children. My right to vote is derived from his service and that of those who served before him. I'm grateful to him and to all who serve today and will serve tomorrow.

Elizabeth Limerick, South Portland, ME

Tribute to my Father, SSGT. Lynn R Poulin Sr.:

Lost his life December 21st, 2004 he was an amazing man who loved his family and friends and would put anyone before himself you are greatly missed Lynn We love you, forever in our hearts.

Cindi Darling, Winslow, ME

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