This photo, taken recently by the amazing journalist Michael Yon in Baghdad, is the talk of the internet today (via Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit):
As Yon described to Reynolds, "I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John's Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome. A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from 'Chosen' Company 2-12 Cavalry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John's, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope. The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. 'Thank you, thank you,' the people were saying. One man said, 'Thank you for peace.' Another man, a Muslim, said 'All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian, is brother.' The men and women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged land between two rivers."
Some are explicitly identifying this photo as the Iraq War's "Mount Suribachi" or "Iwo Jima" moment, referring to the iconic photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during the Second World War. Others, like Day by Day's Chris Muir, make that point a little more subtly:
Whatever your view of the issue, it's safe to suggest that, like the flag raising on Iwo Jima, the cross raising in Baghdad is not the end of this war; there is a tremendous amount of hardship and bloodshed in the foreseeable future for the Iraqi people and for our own servicemen and servicewomen. Indeed, if the war were to end today, there would still be much which remains to be done to assist those men and women in our armed forces who've sacrificed so much for our benefit and to benefit millions in the Middle East and around the world.
Project Valour-IT is one way to assist and, in a small but significant way, repay those sacrifices. Please consider donating today, either at the link below or at the effort's usual donations page (also available in this blog's sidebar). As you can see, the Army Team has raised nearly $19,000 thus far during the interbranch Veteran's Day fundraising effort for Project Valour-IT; the four branches combined have raised nearly $54,000 thus far.