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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 203-02
April 24, 2002

SERVICEMEMBERS TO DISCUSS PATRIOTISM AND FREEDOM

The Department of Defense will participate in a nationwide discussion about patriotism and freedom through a webcast sponsored by Compaq Computer Corporation's Give Thanks America community relations program, the non-profit Together For Freedom organization, and Sorenson Media.

The webcast, which will be broadcast from Bertie Backus Middle School in Washington, DC, will feature a live panel discussion among individuals whose lives are impacted by the war on terrorism: U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber pilot who recently returned from Operation Enduring Freedom, U.S. Army Special Forces soldier recently back from Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps officer who serves as a DoD spokesman for U.S. Central Command, two students whose fathers are deployed aboard the USS John F Kennedy, a college student who writes patriotic plays, and a father whose wife was a crewmember on American Airlines flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.

"I commend the Together For Freedom organization for initiating a national dialogue about the meaning of freedom and the importance of patriotism, and increasing support for our troops at home and abroad," said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige also praised Together For Freedom and encouraged schools to take part in this and other programs that discuss the meaning of freedom and patriotism.

"Our students want and need to be involved in discussions about the war on terrorism and the principles upon which our nation was built - freedom, liberty and independence," Paige said.

"I, too, commend Together For Freedom, and I encourage schools throughout the country to take advantage of programs such as this one today and throughout the year."

The webcast, to be held on April 30, 2002 at 11 a.m. EDT, will be available for viewing by anyone with Internet access by going to: www.togetherforfreedom.org [Link no longer available.] or http://wbwebcasting.com/Freedom/.

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