Saturday, April 14, 2007

Perspective: Iraqis mourn loss of storied Baghdad bridge

BAGHDAD — An elderly man sat on a chair in front of his house, lamenting the loss of yet another piece of his past. A short distance away, the skeletal remains of the Sarafiya Bridge dangled over the Tigris River.

Focus on the steel-frame bridge, where a truck bomber killed at least 10 people early Thursday, was quickly diverted by the lunch-time attack at the heavily guarded parliament building. That's not unusual in Iraq, where brutal mornings often give way to uglier afternoons.

But to those who lived near the fallen bridge, the loss was as heartbreaking as a death in the family. Not only did the structure serve as a symbol of better times, when children frolicked in the water below and trains chugged along its railway tracks.

It was an icon that had endured in a place where many have perished.

Read the rest at the LA Times