Atonement

Lu Lobello, a troubled veteran of the war in Iraq, and the Kachadoorian family, three of whom were killed by Lobello’s unit in a chaotic Baghdad firefight. Lobello was a Lance Corporal in the Marines; during the invasion of Baghdad, his unit was engaged in a furious gun battle with Iraqi forces in an intersection on Baladiyat street. Three cars containing nine members of the Kachadoorian family drove into the intersection outside the building, and Lobello and his fellow soldiers opened fire, killing the three drivers: James, Edmund, and Nicolas Kachadoorian. After the war, back in the United States, Lobello, like many of the other soldiers in his unit, was deeply troubled by the civilian deaths (the Kachadoorians were only a few of the Iraqi civilians killed in the battle). He contacted Nora Kachadoorian, whom he remembered from the battle, on Facebook, and the author, who had previously written about the Kachadoorian family’s tragedy in the New York Times, arranged a meeting. Lobello travelled to visit Nora and Margaret Kachadoorian at their home in Glendale, California, looking for absolution. Mentions the rules of engagement under which American soldiers fight, and the Christian ethos of forgiveness to which the Kachadoorians, who are Armenian Christians, adhere. Read more (subscription required)

 

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