At Midnight when Christmas Eve becomes Christmas, in a church in downtown Baghdad, Christians partake in Mass celebrating Christ's birth. They are joined by their Shia Muslim fellow Iraqis. The church has Iraqi Police protection but it is questionable if it is needed. Parts of Iraq are awakening out of the nightmare which was the civil war. The mass is beautiful and has been kept by Assyrian Catholics since their beginning (with a few slight changes). Meanwhile I was in a heavily guarded chapel room where the security was not needed. The priest/chaplin had his own version of the missal including his own interpretation of the Lord's Prayer set to the tone of Jingle Bells. Babylon.
Tonight (the period of darkness between 25 and 26 December) I am in the ruins of an old Iraqi base. We have a little shop set up here and officially are doing our jobs but it is all quiet. The old buildings still have Arabic writing left by bored Iraqi soldiers and air men. It is almost like you can here their ghosts speaking. Whisperings of the old days.
I miss you all and cannot wait to be home back in the United States.