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Alex Cabrero ReportingWednesday's helicopter crash in Iraq shows that freedom isn't free. Soldiers know it, their families know it, and Iraqi's know it. In Sydney, Australia today Iraqi expatriates cast ballots in Iraq's first independent elections in more than 50 years.
Here in Utah Alex Cabrero spoke to one Iraqi-born citizen who's sorry for the cost in lives, but grateful for what they're doing. Kamil Barzanji, who lives in Salt Lake, says after everything US troops are doing for his country the least he could do was vote in its elections. Now, thanks to the staff at Colonial Flag in Sandy, he'll be doing it waving his country's flag.
You can find the flag for almost any country on the planet here, even the confederate flag is for sale. But this flag, wasn't even in a catalog, until Kamil Barzanji asked for one so he could go vote.
Kamil Barzanji, Iraqi Born Citizen: “This is the greatest thing that ever happened to us. We never even dreamed of it.”
Barzanji is heading to Los Angeles Friday night to vote in Iraq's elections. His Kurdish flag is coming too.
Kamil Barzanji: “People ask me what is the greatest thing about this country, and I say it's the freedom.”
No way could you fly a Kurdish flag with Saddam in control.
Kamil Barzanji: “You cannot even have it in the house.”
So when he went to Colonial Flag in Sandy asking if they had one, workers said no, but they'd make him two for free.
Kailey Sealey, Colonial Flag: “The fact that he and his friends are willing to drive to California to vote, and that it's important to them to wave their country's flag.”
There's nothing like flying a flag to stir national pride. Here in America we've always been allowed to fly the red, white, and blue, but imagine we weren't able to for decades, and then all of a sudden one day we were.”
Kaily Sealey: “It was so great we had the opportunity to be involved in such a thing.”
It'll be even better for Barzanji as he's driving down the interstate with his country's flag next to him, just to vote.
Kamil Barzanji: “People, they laugh because we don't know, but now, we know freedom is not for free.”
Yesterday's Marine helicopter crash reminded us all of that, but Barzanji wants everyone to know he won't waste this opportunity.