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What started with Shock and Awe eight years ago is ending this week with a whimper.

The Iraq war, which has involved over a million of our countrymen, is officially over this week.

Its end is bittersweet; we don’t have marching bands or cheering crowds to signify its end. According to our president we won, but the question is what did we win?

It is positive that we are leaving on our own timetable and with some element of pride, quite unlike the end of the Vietnam conflict, which shamed our whole country and meant our brave men and women had died for absolutely nothing.

We hope that the blood of our brightest and bravest heroes has not been shed in vain. One can hope that we are leaving behind a country that will become a beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

We want to tell every one of our local men and women who served in the Iraq war in one way or another, thank you for your sacrifice, thank for your bravery and courage. We will always be proud of you.

To our families that lost a loved one in this war, your hurt is our community's hurt. You and your loved one paid the ultimate price to protect our way of life, and for that we all are all forever grateful

God bless all of our veterans this Christmas season and the whole year round.