Iranians honor martyrs of revolution
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The victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979 was achieved with a high price, with many lost lives before and after the revolution. In the lead up to the revolution from 1963 to 1979 over 3,000 thousand lives were lost. Iranians call these people Martyrs of the revolution. In June of 1963, seen as a starting point of the revolution protests erupted following the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the man that 15 years later overthrew the US-Supported regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and established the Islamic Republic of Iran. The victory in 1979 happened in the ten-day dawn period, which is ten days since Ayatollah Khomeini set foot in Iran back from years of exile. Now as Iran celebrates these ten days many Iranians visit these martyrs all over the country. In Tehran's Behesht Zahra Cemetery most of the people that fought for the revolution are laid to rest next to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini. On Thursdays and Fridays Iranians come and pay respect to those that have passed away, amongst the traditions are cleaning the tombs with rosewater, laying flowers on it and passing out sweats and food to those that pass by. While these days are important in Iran's Calendar and more people come to pay their respects many of the people we talked to were regulars here. A lady pouring rosewater on the grave of his son said, "It's more than 30 years that I come here on Thursdays to the tomb of my son who became a martyr." The list of those that gave their lives continued in the years following the revolution. The newly formed government faced protests and terror attacks that left 17,000 dead including a President and Prime Minister. The terror attacks were mostly by the Mujahedeen Khalgh Organization, MKO. Many believe these lost lives fortified the revolution. "We owe the revolution and the Islamic Republic to these martyrs and we should not take the blood of the martyrs fore-granted. We should show up in great numbers in the march on the 22nd of Bahman to continue their route." Many events are held in this ten day period in Iran that comes to an end on the 11th of February this year with a nationwide march in support of the Islamic Revolution.