Iraq War's 7th Anniversary Came and Went

Soldiers carry the flag-draped casket of Michael Thompson after his funeral service in Kingston, Okla.
Soldiers carry the flag-draped casket of Michael Thompson after his funeral service on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008 in Kingston, Okla. Thompson, 23, of Harrah, Okla. was killed in Iraq on Sept. 18 in a helicopter crash. (AP Photo/Durant Daily Democrat, Matt Swearengin)
AP/Matt Swearengin, Daily Democrat

Washington has always been a one-story town. And for the last few weeks - months, really - the story has been health care reform. It's all we've been talking about.

Which is probably one reason a rather important anniversary passed almost without notice: March 19.

Ring a bell? Probably not. But March 19 was the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion, which began our longest war.

A heavy news cycle was not the only reason it went unnoticed. We remember the wars and events that had an impact on our daily lives - December 7, or Sept. 11.

But in the age of the all-volunteer military, few of us remember much about a war that had so little effect on our day-to-day lives - especially a war where questions still exist over whether it should have been fought at all.

The Iraq War was fought by one half of one percent of us, and unless we were part of that small group or had a relative who was, we went about our lives as usual most of the time - no draft, no new taxes, no changes.

Not so for the small group who fought the war, and their families. Ask them about the sacrifice, the death toll of nearly 4,400 Americans, and the thousands more who were wounded.

Now that it is finally winding down, thousands of Americans are still there, and history will eventually decide if it was worth it all.

While history decides, let us remember that whatever history's verdict, the fate of those who died there or suffered life-altering injuries can never change.

Good war or bad, for them it is the same.

The war may have had little impact on most of our lives, but we owe that small group of people.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.