BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military officially ends the war in Iraq. The American military flag was retired during a ceremony Thursday morning in Baghdad. Only a few thousand U.S. troops remain in Iraq and they all must be out by the end of the month.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanked the troops for fighting for our country.
"To all of the men and women in uniform today: your nation is deeply indebted to you. You have done everything your nation asked you to do and more. Your dedication, your commitment to this mission has been the driving force behind the remarkable progress we have seen here in Baghdad and across this country," said Panetta.
Almost 4,500 Americans were killed in the nearly nine year war.