I recently spoke to a very valiant and honorable man who has spent two tours in Afghanistan, for a total of two years. He is a customer of ours, and we have had the privelage of sending dog tags to him in Theater. He has seen all that this war has to offer. He has flown to almost every US outpost in Afghanistan. He told me many stories of what happened, and what is happening now, but one that is very interesting to me is the story of the Khyber Pass. Here is a little briefing of the history of the Khyber Pass.
The Khyber Pass is a 53-kilometer (33-miles) passage through the Hindu Kush mountain range that connects the northeastern frontier of Pakistan with Afghanistan. At its narrowest point, the pass is only 3 meters wide, which is just wide enough to fit camels through. You can imagine this being a choke point and a very deadly place to be. The Khyber Pass is in a valley of the towering, snow-covered mountains of the Hindu Kush. The Khyber Pass is one of the most famous mountain passes in the World. Unfortunately, it isn’t for the best of reasons.
The Khyber Pass has had a long and often violent history. Conquering armies have used the Khyber as an entry point for their invasions. Many armies entered the pass, and did not make it out. On the other hand, in brief times of peace, It was also used as a major trade route for centuries.
It witnessed the march of Aryans and victorious advance of Persian and Greek armies. The pass has its roots in history as far back as 1500 BC!
The armies of Alexander the Great (326 BC) marched through the rugged pass to fulfill the wishes of the young, ambitious conqueror. The terror of Ghenghis Khan filled and surrounded the majestic hills.
Both great rulers were on their way to the riches that the great plains of India.
Centuries later, India became part of the British Empire, and British troops defended the Khyber Pass from the British Indian side, during the Afghan wars.
The British constructed a road through the pass in 1879 and converted it into a highway during the 1920s. A railroad was also built there in the 1920s.
The Khyber Pass today........
Today, two highways thread their way through the Khyber Pass-one for motor traffic, and one for the traditional caravans. A railway line also travels to the head of the pass. Recently, the Khyber Pass has been used to transport refugees from the Afghan civil war into Pakistan, and transport arms into Afghanistan. The highway over the Khyber Pass links Kabul to Peshawar. Villages lie on each side of the Khyber Pass.
Also, as in the past, the Khyber pass is a very deadly place, filled with war. Unlike the past, there are not vast armies filled with men, but strategic, hidden outposts for all who hold a stake there.
Tourism was once a major part of the pass, now, if you were to be a tourist there, it might be your last vacation.
The history of the pass is amazing from Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, and other famous rulers. Will people look back in the future and count the USA among other famous, fallen dynasties? Only time will tell.
Thank you to all of the servicemen that are bravely fighting in Afghanistan and around the world. We will proudly serve you with the custom dog tags you need.
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