CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Learning of the sacrifices made by people in the past can help others to appreciate the liberties they have today.

In a hall adorned with pictures and stories of prominent women figures from throughout the history of America, Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, celebrated Women's Equality Day.

"We are here today to talk about women's suffrage and what it means for women around the world to have the right to vote, even the history of the United States and what women went through before they could vote in America," said Maj. D'Hania Hunt, the observance's guest speaker.

Hunt, the deputy intelligence, 1st Cav. Div, MND - B, gave the audience a brief outline of pivotal points in the history of women's rights, from Susan B. Anthony casting an illegal vote in 1872 and her momentous speech; the 1920 presidential election where all women were allowed to vote; up to present day with the 2008 elections - painting a broad picture of how far women's rights have come in the history of America.

"As women and as Americans, we have the right to vote our conscious and thank goodness there were people out there that were willing to fight for that freedom," said Hunt. "Sometimes we need to look back and realize the ones before us made sacrifices."

Hunt, from Houston, made the connection between those who fought for women's freedoms to those military men and women fight in Iraq today.

"There have been many sacrifices made by others in the past, but let us not forget all of you out here are making many, many sacrifices. Everyone in this room is away from their families right now fighting for the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans for the Iraq people and it is no small measure," said Hunt.

Throughout the history of the United States there have been many struggles in obtaining the freedoms enjoyed today and the freedom to be an active part in shaping the country, said Lt. Col. Charles Dalcourt from Baton Rouge, La., the host battalion commander. He wanted Soldiers to leave with more than a history lesson.

"I offer that today's purpose was to educate, but I ask that it also inspires and enlightens you in some way to move to vote and exercise your rights."

"If you think about the fight, if you think about the struggle, if you think about those myriad of things that people went through, so you today can elect to go vote or not, it should drive you to go out and vote," he said.

Page last updated Mon August 31st, 2009 at 15:54