U.S. Troops Get Bosnian Education; Peacekeepers Learn to Appreciate Ethnic Mix and Value of Living in the United States.(WORLD)(BRIEFING: EUROPE)
Byline: Guy Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
EAGLE BASE, TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina - U.S. soldiers stationed here are quick to point out that the large pine tree decorated with lights and holiday ornaments near the center of the base is not a Christmas tree.
"It's a liberty tree," said Maj. Shawn R. Mell, explaining that an important part of living on this NATO base, which is headquarters to the American component of the international peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, is learning to appreciate the country's mix of religions, with Muslims the plurality.
"We don't have a Christmas tree here, because we're honoring all of those faiths," he said. "You've got so many different holidays happening around this time - from Christmas to Ramadan to the Russian Orthodox New Year to our New Year - so we're honoring that."
At the end of Ramadan in November, Brig. Gen. John T. von Trott, the top officer at Eagle Base, invited Mohammed Lugavic, an imam from the Tuzla City Mosque, to address the troops and give them a "better understanding of Ramadan and other holidays." Gen. von Trott said he was impressed by the imam, who has organized a multifaith organization in Tuzla called "the …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: U.S. Troops Get Bosnian Education; Peacekeepers Learn to Appreciate Ethnic Mix and Value of Living in the United States.(WORLD)(BRIEFING: EUROPE). Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: December 29, 2002. Page number: A10. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.