• Today's Daily Devotion
Blue Fingers
The significance of January 30, 2005, is summed up in inked-stained forefingers. This was the day Iraqis voted for themselves.

Blue Fingers

Chaplain Col. Gene (Chip) Fowler, U.S. Army, Command Chaplain for Combined Joint Task Force 7

The significance of January 30, 2005, is summed up in inked-stained forefingers. This was the day Iraqis voted for themselves.

“The Iraqis who came out to vote did so to say thank you to the coalition,” said our cultural advisor, Kadeem an Iraqi ex-patriot from St. Louis who fled Saddam’s revenge after Desert Storm. It was somehow a validating event for all the work, pain, and suffering of the soldiers here, and their families back home. Kadeem called his three brothers and asked them who they voted for; all three voted for someone different. And he said, “Never before has anything like this happened in Iraq, where people can determine their own future.”

Yet such a thing comes at a cost one that I will never forget, but will always honor. From February 1, 2004 to January 31, 2005 (the time I was in Iraq), we’ve suffered more than seven thousand wounded, almost seven hundred killed by enemy action and another nearly one hundred fifty who died from non-enemy causes and those are just the U.S. military figures. There were many more when you include our coalition partners, civilian contractors, the friendly Iraqi security forces, and the many innocent Iraqi civilians.

“I don’t understand why your soldiers die for my people,” an Iraqi National Guard soldier told one of my chaplains. I hope Sunday’s actions by the Iraqis begin to tell the reason why. With blue fingers as badges of courage, a tidal wave of Freedom began that desperate terrorists could not stop as more than nine million free citizens voted.

Is this the dawning of a new age in human history? I don’t know the answer to that. But it is a new age in the lives of Iraqis, and many other nations are looking to see what it means to them. For us as democratic freedom lovers, it gives hope that the incessant evil of terror is waning. The struggle against such evil as terror brings isn’t over the Devil doesn’t give up easily. So we must persist and continue to pursue the objective of eliminating the demon of terror.


Lord, renew my hope in you above all else.

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