News: School opens, promise for peace in Rashaad
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq -- The eyes of the children say it all today, said Talal A. Mohemmed, headmaster of the new school in Nasaria. "Just yesterday these Iraqi children, from five villages around Rashaad, were learning in a school made of mud in 1988 and now today they celebrate the opening of a school they deserve," said Talal.
The project began in August of 2009 and was funded by the Commander's Emergency Relief Fund, but it was the Rashaad Sub-District Council and IA soldiers of 2/15th IA who made this possible, according to Lt. Col. Brian J. McHugh, commander of 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1/1 AD.
The ceremony began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the school by Ahmed Kurdin Nasahr, a member of the Rashaad Sub-District Council.
After the ribbon was cut the celebration began, the children began singing and clapping, displaying their happiness, according to Maj. Zeyad, executive officer of 2/15th IA.
"We cannot leave one of these children behind, they are our hope for peace and security in this country," said Maj. Zeyad, during the ceremony.
Following the speeches from dignitaries, the children of the school took an oath to be part of the Small Jr. Leaders Program.
During their oath they vowed to, respect their teachers, Iraqi Security Forces, those older and younger than them, family, their country and finally to be the heroes of Iraq now and in the future.
At the end of the ceremony, McHugh had final words for the audience.
"I feel a sense of pride for what is going on here," he said. "We can go home and say we were in Iraq when the ISF were working together as one for Iraq."
He continued, "This lets me know the future for Iraq is truly bright."
Task Force Marne Commanding General Maneuver, Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue, II, Col. Larry Swift, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, McHugh, Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Daniels, command sergeant major of 1/1 AD, leadership of 2nd Battalion, 15th Brigade Iraqi Army, members of the Rashad Sub-District Council, local sheiks, children of the school and a crowd of support, attended the ceremony, near Kirkuk, Iraq, May 3.