Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, in 2003 the United States military and its allies began operations to remove Saddam Hussein from power, who was a ruthless dictator and a threat to stability in the Middle East, undermining world peace. Yesterday, the United States military successfully concluded its military involvement in Iraq. We have victory in Iraq for the people of Iraq to build upon.
As a proud father of two sons who served in Iraq, I want to offer a heartfelt thank-you to every American servicemember who served in the country and their families. I want to thank and assure the family members of the servicemembers who lost their lives--exemplified by Major Trane McCloud--and those who are wounded warriors, fighting for freedom, that their sacrifice and their military families will always be cherished.
Secretary Leon Panetta in Baghdad said: ``Iraq has made remarkable progress over the last 9 years.'' Army General Lloyd J. Austin, III, Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq, praised servicemembers and families for meeting our national objectives and giving Iraq hope for a prosperous future.
In conclusion, God bless our troops, and we will never forget September the 11th in the global war on terrorism.