For nearly 9 years, the flag outside the Pennsylvania Capitol often flew at half-mast to honor each of the 196 Pennsylvanians who died serving our country in IRAQ and others who have died in Afghanistan, a war that now enters its 11th year. The number of Pennsylvanians who died in Iraq ranks third among all states, with only California and Texas suffering more casualties.
A total of 4,487 USA members of our military died in IRAQ. More than 30,000 were wounded. More than 1.5 million Americans served in Iraq or about 1 in every 205 Americans. Their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families must be remembered and repaid at least by insuring employment and health care.
While the members of our military bore huge sacrifices, the civilian population did not. The Iraq war cost $800 billion, and all of it was debt financed. Taxes were actually cut during the war. Promises made at the time of the start of the IRAQ war that it would be quick, cost $30 billlion, and be paid for by the oil wealth of Iraq were cruelly not kept.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars so far have cost directly a combined $1.25 trillion and are very much part of the $15 trillion of national debt as well as our annual interest costs required to finance the debt.
I give thanks that President Obama has ended the Iraq war and so do 75% of the American people.