In almost every American war, places such as Gettysburg and Normandy come into the lexicon as they were turning points, locations from which historians could draw a line to the conflicts' results. Further places such as Antietam, Okinawa and Mutla Ridge earned their infamy as they were areas of brutal fighting and unparalleled carnage.
When historians charge the Iraq war from the far side of time, the city that will fall into the latter category will be Fallujah. The name itself becomes a symbol. Now as Abu Ghraib came to signify vicious cruelty, Fallujah, a city few had heard of previous to the war, personified the insurgency as U.S. troops fought Sunni guerrillas, making the place a embodiment for war as the most brutal of blood sports.
During two large battles in April and November 2004, U.S. Marines and soldiers knowledgeable the most intense urban combat since the Vietnamese Tet offensive of 1968. Flanked by the battles, American troops erected a concrete wall approximately Fallujah to prevent suspected insurgents from leaving the city. Most of the wall still stands, and Iraqi army troops now protector the checkpoints, allowing only those with papers into the city.