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It’s not the size of the gift…

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2005

I almost missed this story. Thanks to Kevin at The Smallest Minority for posting it. If this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re pretty cold:

TAJI, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2005 — Iraqi soldiers serving at Taji military base collected 1,000,000 Iraqi dinars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Iraqi Col. Abbas Fadhil, Iraqi base commander, presented the money to U.S. Col. Paul D. Linkenhoker, Taji Coalition base commander, at a Sept. 5 staff meeting.

“We are all brothers,” said Abbas. “When one suffers tragedy, we all suffer their pain.”

The amount of money is small in American dollars – roughly $680 – but it represents a huge act of compassion from Iraqi soldiers to their American counterparts, said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Goyne.

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of their generosity,” Goyne said. “I was proud and happy to know Col. Abbas, his officers, NCOs and fellow soldiers. That amount represents a month’s salary for most of those soldiers.”

And this one touched me in the same way:

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike, who are presently in China on a state visit, have conveyed messages of sympathy to the government and the people of the USA, following the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina, in states of Mississippi and Louisiana.

On behalf of the people of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Government is making a token contribution of US$ 25,000 through the American Red Cross, towards providing relief to those affected.

Expressing her sadness at the extent of the death and destruction, President Kumaratunga said “having experienced the fury of nature ourselves during the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, the people of Sri Lanka and I fully comprehend the grief and the sense of loss experienced by the victims of the hurricane.”

Recalling the spontaneous US response in the wake of the tsunami that helped to mitigate the effects in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and in the recovery process, the President further extended profound sympathies and condolences on behalf of Sri Lanka to the families, who have lost their loved ones and expressed solidarity with the victims.

Sometimes the small gestures are the most meaningful because of who makes them.

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