The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by US forces in Iraq yesterday was a cause for joy and relief that "this violent man will never murder again", as President Bush stated.
It also is a cause for tremendous pride in and gratitude for the work of our military forces in Iraq.
One of my first thoughts upon hearing the news was of a photo I received early this year from a Marine deployed in Western Iraq. The photo, entitled "Too Many Dogtags", was of the memorial to the fallen Marines of that Regimental Combat Team who, "during this tour of duty gave their lives for their country and the nation of Iraq".
I thought of those Marines and their sacrifice. I thought of the suffering of their families. I thought of all of our Fallen, and their families. I thought of the pain of the wounded, and the sacrifices made by all who have served in the War on Terror.
And I thought to myself: I promise never to forget them.
Zarqawi's death is by no means the end of this war, or even of this battle. But together with the inauguration of Prime Minister Maliki's cabinet on May 20 and the appointment of the last 3 cabinet posts this week, it marks an important milestone and provides a significant morale boost to the new Iraqi nation.