As the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War passes this week, Sonoma County residents took a moment to share their memories of March 19, 2003, the day the U.S. began military strikes against Iraq.
Although President George W. Bush would declare "Mission Accomplished" later that spring and the U.S. would capture Saddam Hussein before the end of the year, fighting against insurgents continued for years, and 4,802 Americans and allies would die over the course of the war, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.
In Healdsburg, the Peace Project has been demonstrating at the Plaza across from the Hotel Healdsburg on Thursday evenings ever since.
President Barack Obama declared, "The American combat mission in Iraq has ended" on Aug. 31, 2010. An 18-month troop draw-down began shortly thereafter and the U.S. withdrawal of military personnel was completed in December 2011.
But the pain that many felt has not gone away. When we asked this question on our Facebook page, Donnis Topel left three anguished posts, among them the following:
Actually, I'm despondent about those who are left in a vegetative state, those who have no limbs, those who have permanent emotional scars, those whose families have been torn asunder-- all because of lies.
We want to know: How did the Iraq war impact you and your family? Where were you when you learned the U.S. had invaded Iraq?
Respond in the comments section below.