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2     WHEREAS, This past week, the Iraqi people were able to
3 participate in a free election for the first time in 50 years
4 and showed the world that they supported democracy with a
5 greater-than 60% voter turnout in that country ruled by a
6 brutal dictator only two years ago; and
7     WHEREAS, It was a stated objective of Operation Iraqi
8 Freedom to liberate the people of Iraq from a violent
9 oppressive regime that supported terrorism in other countries
10 and that took pleasure in the events of September 11, 2001; and
11     WHEREAS, On Sunday, January 30, 2005, an historic election
12 took place in Iraq - and around the world - to elect a
13 275-member Transitional National Assembly which will draft
14 Iraq's new constitution to be presented to the Iraqi people for
15 their approval in a national referendum in October 2005; and
16     WHEREAS, A voter-registration list of 14.3 million names
17 was compiled in six weeks and more than 500 voter registration
18 centers were established to help Iraqis verify their
19 registration and on election day, Iraqis voted at approximately
20 5,200 voting centers across Iraq; and
21     WHEREAS, International support for the Iraqi election has
22 been essential using military forces from 28 nations working
23 alongside Iraqi forces to help establish stability and security
24 throughout Iraq; and
25     WHEREAS, We recognize the Illinois men and women who paid
26 the ultimate price to protect our country. We also recognize
27 those who have come home with injuries sustained in the War on
28 Terrorism on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan; and
29     WHEREAS, We owe all of our Illinois sons and daughters a



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1 great debt of gratitude for putting themselves in harm's way to
2 protect us here at home and for giving the people of Iraq and
3 Afghanistan a real opportunity for Freedom, Liberty, Democracy
4 and Self-determination; and, therefore be it ; and
6 ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that the Illinois Senate
7 congratulates the Iraqi people on conducting a successful
8 election and extends best wishes in their efforts to establish
9 a Democratic government; and be it further
10     RESOLVED, In this first week after the Iraqi national
11 election, the Members of the Illinois Senate want to once again
12 thank the Illinois men and women who make up our National Guard
13 and Reserve units and who are members of the regular military
14 for their service in Iraq; and, be it further
15     RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution shall be
16 delivered to President George W. Bush and to the Members of the
17 Illinois Congressional delegation.