Tears welled in the eyes of the Assyrian Army commander fighting to protect Christian communities from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria when he reached the section of the Arlington National Cemetery where American service members who died in the name of Iraqi freedom have been laid to rest.
Emmanuel Khoshaba Youkhana, commander of the Christian Assyrian Army, primarily based in Iraq, visited the national cemetery Friday during the last day of his visit to the United States.
Cmdr. Youkhana become very emotional as he expressed appreciation for the American service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.
The moment he reached section 60 in the Arlington Cemetery, the final resting place of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in America’s most recent wars, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, the commander, along with Yosep Betkolia, his political advisor, and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sargis Sangari, one of the Americans advising the Assyrian Army, stopped to pray for the “souls” of the fallen American heroes.
They uttered a prayer in their native Assyrian language, the same one spoken by Jesus Christ, praying for the U.S. troops and the families they have left behind, explained Youkhana.
“I want to show appreciation on behalf of the Christian communities in Iraq’s Assyrian Nineveh Plain for the sacrifice that the United States made to liberate our country and for the souls of those soldiers who lost their lives to give Iraqis a good life and democracy,” Cmdr. Youkhana told Breitbart News, as tears ran down his face.
“They died for Nineveh — to liberate Assyria,” he added. “So, I just want to show respect and appreciation for their sacrifice. Really, I am filled with emotion when I see the brave heroes buried in this cemetery. I appreciate all who sacrifice to make a good life and future for other people. It’s an honor to be in the section where those who died and sacrificed for Iraqi freedom are laid to rest. It’s very important to be here.”