(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement marking the ten-year anniversary of the war in Iraq.
“Like all Americans who recall the horrific events of September 11, 2001, I will never forget the fear and destruction our nation endured on that day. I will always remember the way Americans came together – across regions and political lines – with courage and commitment to support our men and women in uniform who didn’t think twice before stepping up to protect our nation.
“Unfortunately, the focus on locating and destroying terrorist organizations that brought such devastation upon our nation was diverted for too long by the war in Iraq, a war I opposed and voted against authorizing. After nine years of pressing for a responsible end to military operations in the country, I was pleased when the last American troops finally left Iraq on December 18, 2011.
“While I did not support the decision to enter into this conflict, I have made it my priority over the last decade to ensure the costs – both visible and invisible – are not forgotten. Today’s solemn anniversary must serve as a reminder that our work has just begun. We must not waver on our duty to serve those who have served. From education assistance and employment, to bringing down VA wait times and curbing the tragic epidemics of suicide and military sexual trauma – the completion of the war in Iraq does not signal the end to this work.
“I could not be more proud of our servicemembers from Washington state and across America who served and sacrificed honorably in Iraq, and continue to do so in Afghanistan. And as long as there are men and women in our Armed Forces serving in harm’s way, I remain committed to ensuring their well-being both on and off the battlefield.”