Pittsburghers Showing Support As U.S. Troops Leave Iraq
BETHEL PARK (KDKA) — After nearly nine years of war, the last convoy of U.S. troops has left Iraq.
They crossed the border into Kuwait this weekend. Some have already arrived back in the United States, into the arms of waiting family members.
In Pittsburgh, many are showing their support for those returning soldiers. One woman is putting up yellow ribbons in their honor.
The end of the war in Iraq stirs up a lot of different emotions. It has been nine years.
The bench marks are measured in different ways for different people, but for a family in Bethel Park, it’s a display marked in ribbons.
Donna Dowd Matty and her daughter, Olivia Dowd, got an early start this chilly Sunday morning on Tissler Street – their goal was 100 yellow ribbons.
The tribute was not just in honor of the U.S. exit from Iraq; it was also about the 4,500 servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq.
They gave their lives and today is about remembering what it means to give in service.
“Unless you’ve had someone in the family or you know someone personally, you really don’t know what it’s like to be in the military,” said Matty.
For the War in Iraq, it meant nine years, $800 billion and 35,000 injured. Now, with the departure of the last troops comes the question – was it worth it?
There are different answers from those who were there.
“I think history is going to be the big decision maker as far as the sacrifice that America has given, and the sacrifice of soldiers, Airmen, Marines over the past seven years of warfare, but as far as the Iraqi people, it was definitely worth it for them looking years down the road,” said Lt. Col. Mark J. Rayburg, of the Pa. Army National Guard.
The yellow ribbons tell a story – not just about the War in Iraq – but Vietnam, Korea, World War I and World War II. Ribbons to serve as a reminder that war means sacrifice and Americans should not ever forget that.
And like so many wars in U.S. history, time often writes and re-writes the story of war.