... The Iraqi flag was raised during a small ceremony at what had been the Republican Palace of Saddam Hussein attended by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
In a speech broadcast on state television, Mr. Maliki said that the handover had a special meaning for Iraqis. “It means we have gotten rid of the most dangerous remains of the policies that the former regime adopted,” he said.
Later, on a street elsewhere in the 5.6-square-mile Green Zone, a second ceremony was attended by senior Iraqi security officials, including the defense minister, and senior American Army officers, including Lt. Gen, Lloyd J. Austin III, the second-highest ranking United States commander in Iraq.
At that ceremony, there were speeches about Iraq’s readiness to take over responsibility of the Green Zone, children sang songs and a poem was read about Iraqi unity. An Iraqi marching band — with bagpipes — played the country’s national anthem.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Posted by Christopher Blosser at 10:42 PM