Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The handover of Basra

The recent handover ceremony of Basra airbase in southern Iraq from British to U.S forces marking the end of six years of British military involvement in an unpopular war was in the end a muted affair. A deeply touching memorial service prior to the ceremony involved the reading of the names of all the 179 servicemen killed since the spring 2003 in front of a memorial wall, which left a lump in my throat especially so when one of the names mentioned last moments I had witnessed two years earlier in Basra palace.