National Day of Honor

President Obama on Monday declared “a National Day of Honor” to remember the service, success, and sacrifice of the countless US military personnel who took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. “Nine years ago, members of the United States armed forces crossed the sands of the Iraq-Kuwait border and began one of the most challenging missions our military has ever known,” stated the President in his proclamation marking the ninth anniversary of coalition forces invading Iraq. He added, “The war left wounds not always seen, but forever felt.” Obama said behind every military member “stood a parent, a spouse, or a son or daughter who proudly served their community and prayed for their loved one’s safe return.” For wounded warriors, “coming home marked the end of one battle and the beginning of another,” he continued. “And, in war’s most profound cost, there were those who never came home,” noted the President. Nearly 4,500 US personnel died before the Iraq mission ended on Dec. 18, 2011. (See also Last Days in Iraq from Air Force Magazine’s March issue.)