WASHINGTON — Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) issued this statement Dec. 15 following the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq:
“Nearly nine years ago I voted against sending American troops to Iraq. However, the Congress and the President at that time decided otherwise. As one may recall, the administration of President George W. Bush asserted that the Iraqi regime was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. That assertion proved false.
“When the decision to go to war was made, I assured my constituents, and others, that I would do my best to provide our troops all the necessary equipment and supplies to assure their safe return. I’m glad that the day of closure has arrived. This war has been costly in American lives and treasure. More than 4,000 brave men and women lost their lives in Iraq.
“However, we did much good. We eliminated many of Al-Qaeda’s top operatives in Iraq and the region. And we have helped to establish a sovereign, democratic nation.
“As a veteran of World War II, I believe I can feel some of the anguish felt by the troops, the veterans and their families. I am extremely grateful to the men and women who served in this war. I for one will never forget their sacrifices and I do believe their efforts were not in vain.”
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, also issued a statement:
“I am so pleased our combat troops will be home from Iraq in time for the holidays. Our service members and military leaders worked diligently for years to help the Iraqi government take responsibility for its own security, and it is now up to Iraqi people to succeed as an independent nation.
“I offer my warmest aloha and mahalo to all of those who served and their families for their commitment and sacrifice. Now that the war is over we must continue to honor our sacred obligation to our veterans and their families and ensure they receive the care and benefits they earned, need, and deserve.
“Our nation will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.”