Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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When 15-year-old Hazim Motter rang the iron bell June 8, it marked the completion of three newly renovated public school buildings. It also symbolized a new beginning for the1, 200 school children that attend here.
Hazim attends the Al Diwaniyah Advanced School, one of a trio of schools that were renovated through a collaborative effort of Army, Marine and Navy forces. The two other schools Secondary School of Al Karama, and the Al Nayrayn Primary School.
To mark the occasion, the First Marine Division offered a metal bell that will hang in the advanced secondary school.
The bell boasts the engraved inscription, "Presented to the Children of Iraq From the First Marine Division."
Maj. Rod Legowski, the executive officer for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines said 189 similar bells would be distributed among seven providences in southern Iraq. Each bell cost about $2,000 and was cast in the United States.
"Our motivation was to shape the children of Iraq with a symbol that focuses on their freedom and their lives," Legowski said.
The Al Diwaniyah school complex was chosen as the site of the inaugural bell because of the magnitude of the project, which involved rehabilitating all three school buildings. Al Diwaniyah's mayor, school board officials and parents attended the festive opening.
Hamid Mjeed is a music teacher at the Al Nahrayn Primary School whose young students performed two songs to mark the special occasion. He said the project signifies a growing trust between the Iraqi people and coalition forces.
Repairs to the three schools totaled nearly $100,000. The work took 17 days to complete.
Somehow the media missed all of this. They were too busy telling us about how all of the good Ba'athist folks from the former Ministry of Information, who spread all of Saddam's lies and hid all of his atrocities while escorting Western media around, were upset becuase they are without jobs now.
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