Tuesday Mar. 20 marked the ten year anniversary of the Iraq War.
The anniversary was barely noted by officials in the country, but veterans at Sam Houston State University have said that not making a fuss over the anniversary was probably the best thing they could have done.
“Of course I remembered what yesterday was, but I don’t think it’s something that should be celebrated,” the veteran said. “Nobody wants to remember war. It’s a personal thing for me, and I don’t want to see everyone celebrating.”
According to an article from the New York Times website, President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were one of the only officials to make a comment on the issue, which was comprised of a written statement that included a brief word about the occasion.
The article also mentioned that Congress met on Tuesday without one mention of the anniversary, which disturbed some people.
“This is a little like the crazy uncle in the attic that nobody wants to talk about,” said John Nagl, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and is now a fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. “But we need to because we put him there.”
The New York Times said that Nagl is one of the many critics who believed the anniversary of the Iraq War should be a reminder of the mistakes made when the war was started, instead of celebrating of the war itself.
“It would be a shame if we did not pause and think hard about this as a nation,” Nagl said. “We paid an enormous price as a nation. The Iraqis have paid a huge price.”
Other individuals in the article disagreed with viewpoints like Nagl’s and said that the move to invade Iraq was the best option available and the mistake came when America remained in the area.
“President Bush made the right decision on removing the Iraqi regime from power,” Douglas J. Feith, a former under secretary of defense said. “Where America went wrong was when we transformed ourselves from liberators to occupiers.”
Ignoring the arguments over which side of the issue is correct or incorrect, the SHSU veteran said that when it comes down to what really matters, America needs to remember their troops.
“Support your troops and veterans,” the veteran said. “Don’t just wear a yellow ribbon, actually talk to them and listen to what they have to say. We are the ones who carry out the policies Washington creates.”
For more information on the New York Times article, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/20/world/iraq-wars-10th-anniversary-is-barely-noted-in-washington.html