Skip to comments.Army Engineers Return Bronze Tablet to Government of Iraq Officials
Posted on 06/13/2009 12:39:35 PM PDT by SandRat
BAGHDAD — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division here helped return a bronze tablet to the Government of Iraq earlier this month.
The 27-year-old tablet, built in the era of Saddam Hussein and dedicated to an Unknown Soldier, was turned over to the Iraqi High Tribunal for storage in its secure document storage facility in the International Zone.
The turn-over was conducted in partnership with the Cultural Affairs Department of the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad.
The tablet resided outside of the Gulf Region Central District’s Residence Office on Freedom Compound in the IZ for a number of years. But the history of the tablet is a bit of a mystery.
“We don’t know how it got here, or who put it here,” said Capt. Chad Wendolek, the officer in charge of the GRC IZ residence office.
Wendolek said both he and his colleagues wanted to find a home for the tablet before they move to the Victory Base Complex this summer.
“We know that this tablet is significant to the Iraqi people and we wanted to be sure we put it in the right hands,” Wendolek said.
Judge Arif Abdul-Razzaq al Shahin, president of the Iraqi High Tribunal, said he was deeply appreciative of the Corps’ decision to return the artifact.
“We are happy to have the tablet,” said Shahin. “We want to be sure that we preserve our history.”
The inscription on the tablet reads, “The Unknown Soldier Monument has been constructed in the era of President Saddam Hussein, secretary general of the National Leadership of the Baath Arab Socialist Party, the President of the Republic Amanat of Capital Baghdad, 1402 Islamic Calendar, 1982 AD.”
“We will put this tablet on display so that other people can see it,” said Shahin. “The tablet will be a monument for many generations to come.”
The tablet will be on display at the Museum of the Iraqi Genocide, which is scheduled to open in July.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Release)