By Iuliana Petre

Killeen Daily Herald

Every school that Deborah Birch attended as a student had a Freedom Shrine.

So, when she became the principal at Montague Elementary School on Fort Hood – a school without a Freedom Shrine – she asked her secretary to make some phone calls to rectify the situation.

Enter the Exchange Club of Killeen, an organization that promotes "Americanism," among other things.

Exchange Club members collected photographic reproductions of original documents from American history – such as the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and many others – which were presented at the school during a dedication ceremony Friday.

The Freedom Shrine was presented to Montague Elementary School's fifth-graders, who are studying American history and the Constitution, which is why they were chosen for the presentation, Assistant Principal Ruth Prosser said.

According to Kathy Clark Jones, publicity chairperson of the Killeen Exchange Club, the purpose of the Freedom Shrine is to remind all citizens of the courage, dedication and sacrifices of our forefathers.

The Freedom Shrine message is history, said James Garvin, a member of the Killeen Exchange Club, who was at Montague Elementary School for the dedication.

"There's a lot of history in the writing of those documents," Garvin said.

The things that make up the Freedom Shrine are all a part of us as Americans, Maureen Jouett, former Killeen mayor and guest speaker at the dedication ceremony, said to the fifth-grade students of Montague Elementary School.

"These documents are all from unique periods of time in history that you want to remember," Jouett said.

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