December 15. Iraqi elections. My friend Pauline, who left Iraq for America when she was a girl, and who now works with us here at Camp Victory, cast her vote in the historic elections on the 15th. She was so excited about the significance of this vote for the Iraqi people that she still had a deep-purple finger several days later. We sure are happy for you, Pauline!
I am going to cheat here and steal from my friend Maureen's blog. She asked Pauline to write down her thoughts about the elections, and I cannot help but think her words should go here, too. With permission from all, I bring you Pauline's thoughts:
"Casting my vote was the second dream that came true, the first being the ousting of Saddam.
We hoped it would have been done in 1991, but between 1991 and the liberation of Iraq, Saddam was left to execute the worst of his evil on the society, the people, the land, the environment, not even the apple orchards in the north nor the palm trees, that counted in millions, and the natural marshes of the south survived his wrath.
I believed the end had come only when I witnessed the 3ID (3rd Infantry Division) crossing the Kuwaiti border into Iraq on CNN.
I was cheering them along, and thought it is finally happening, over 30 years in forced exile, I will have a chance to visit my homeland again. You see it is not just my birth place, it is the land of my ancestors, the Assyrians, who contributed so much to civilization (visit http://www.aina.org), both in ancient times and their second glory was spreading Christianity from Iraq all the way to China.
Watching the 3ID, I suddenly felt that an invisible prison door opened and my soul felt it was free at last. It was unusual because I was never conscious of it before, yet we, the Assyrians and all Iraqis in exile, over 4 million, lived the same way.
I thanked General Webster of the 3ID for all their contribution towards the liberation of Iraq, as I told him, they didn't just liberate the Iraqis inside Iraq, they liberated the Iraqis in exile, thousands like me, have finally been able to come back and visit their families after years of separation. And now, we all participated in shaping the future of Iraq by voting.
A heartfelt thanks to our troops and their families for all their effort and their sacrifice to spread freedom and democracy - freedom has a price; that is why I’m here now to be part of that effort."