WASHINGTON--Tuesday marks the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War--the war then Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama opposed--with the impact very personal to Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)--the war cost her both legs and mangled an arm.
Duckworth--when she ran for Congress the first time, in 2005--told me then the decision of now former President George W. Bush to launch a war against Iraq was a "bad one." Still, Duckworth, an Army helicopter pilot said she was "proud to serve.
Elected to Congress last November, Duckworth said in a statement, "On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War the once unimaginable costs have become clear. Over 4,000 of our brave men and women have given their lives, more than 32,000 have been wounded, and the scourge of suicides and untreated mental health and brain injuries claim more lives each day. More than $1 trillion of our national treasure has been spent, not to mention the $8 billion a year we will spend for decades to care for our Iraq War Veterans.
"Military force must always be an option, but never again can we fool ourselves into thinking that war will be easy -- or quick.
"It is families like mine, the ones whose spouses, siblings, parents and children continue to serve in uniform who will pay when we wage war. We owe these families a responsible, honest discussion before waging the next conflict.
"We owe it to those who served in Iraq to move past the bitter divisiveness that began 10 years ago. We must get past our divisions and use the war not as a wedge, but as a shared experience that makes us wiser in future decisions. We must use it as something that can once again unite us as a nation."