This morning the U.S. marked the official end of operations in Iraq.
The ceremony, which was held in front of the Bagdad Airport, marked the official end with the retiring of the colors. Today is seen as a victory in many ways, one of which will be claimed by the Obama administration and will be used as a foreign policy victory for his re-election.
But for the most part, this is a victory for the men and women in service who have sacrificed in so many ways over the past 9 years during the Iraq operations. They are the bruised, bloody, and in many cases dead.
History will be the true test for victory in Iraq. In the coming days, months and years, they will be tested by other rogue nations looking to eliminate all the progress that the Iraqi people have fought for. They are a living testimony for current times that the victory for freedom and democracy is worth the fight.
History will also prove that what has occurred in Iraq, is an example to other nations in the region that they no longer have to stand for what has gone on for centuries past. They no longer must follow regimes that are willing to kill their own men, women and children for no other reason than to express their power over them.
2011 will be a historic year as many nations have taken charge and stood up to those in power and said that victory will be theirs. Dictators have been overthrown, and long-time power-hungry rulers have seen and are seeing the same fate.
While victory is celebrated in Iraq as operations have ended, the road is not ended. There is still many battles they, the Iraqi people, have yet to face.