September 18, 1995
I am pleased to have the opportunity to voice my support for the seventh graders of the Broad Meadows Middle School and their efforts to commemorate Iqbal Masih.
Thirty-five years ago, a man named John Volpe became Governor of Massachusetts. Governor Volpe was the son of immigrants, and was keenly aware of the importance of providing children with the education and opportunities they need to thrive. In his Inaugural Address he spoke about the children of the Commonwealth, saying "...their youth, their skills, their enthusiasm are among our greatest assets. For their sake and ours, we cannot let them down." Lieutenant Governor Cellucci and I have taken these words to heart, and are dedicated to ensuring the next generation a strong education, a healthy economy, and a safe and supportive environment.
However, not everyone shares this belief. Too often, children are treated as burdens, rather than blessings; in the most tragic cases, children are denied their basic human rights. Such was the case of Iqbal Masih. Sold into slavery and robbed of his childhood, Iqbal endured tremendous suffering, yet did not lose his courage or his hope. Building a school in Iqbal's name will be an appropriate and moving tribute to him, and I applaud the students and faculty of Broad Meadows Middle School for getting involved in this worthy project.
Iqbal Masih remains an inspiration to children around the world. This site will help keep his memory alive for a long time to come, and I thank you for the opportunity to share in this remembrance.
William F. Weld