THANKS AND PRAISE: Michael Yon emails: “I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome. A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from ‘Chosen’ Company 2-12 Cavalry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope. The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. ‘Thank you, thank you,’ the people were saying. One man said, ‘Thank you for peace.’ Another man, a Muslim, said ‘All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian, is brother.’ The men and women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged land between two rivers. (Videotape to follow.)”

Let’s hope these sentiments continue to spread.


UPDATE: Rand Simberg: “If things continue to go well, this photo should win a Pulitzer.”

Plus some further thoughts at The Belmont Club.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader John Ramsay sees a poignant contrast with this picture.

MORE: Excellent move: “Michael Yon is making this photograph available to media outlets, such as print publications and cable and television news broadcasts, at no cost for a limited period of time. For more information, please contact us here.”

STILL MORE: “An iconic image of hope and unity.” Plus this: “Thanks to the lens of Michael Yon, we can see a fuller, truer picture of Iraq than the ‘grim milestone’-driven legacy media lens allows us to see. That deserves thanks and praise, too.”

And reader James Mabry emails: ‘If you are game for another update to your post, please consider an encouragement to readers to spread the news to their local media outlets. Thanks.” Good idea.

Some additional photo thoughts here.

And The Anchoress offers some musings of her own.

Plus, observations from Bob Krumm. And, finally, “The silence from the left has been absolutely deafening.” Plus, a cautionary note. (Bumped to top.)