South Mississippians Mark Three Year Anniversary Of Iraq War

Anti-war protests took place all across the nation today to mark the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Members of the community gathered at Marshall Park in Ocean Springs to honor the thousands of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

They exercised their rights to free speech while holding our troops in high regard.

Three years ago our nations leaders made a decision that would impact the lives of thousands of American soldiers and their families.

The names of the 35 Mississippi soldiers who died in Iraq were read aloud and crosses were placed in the ground in their honor.

As we enter the fourth year of military operations in Iraq emotions are running high.

And some are even wondering if our efforts are worth the sacrifice.

"It's time for us to just stop this stuff. We have got too much stuff to do in this world than to be going off on this billion dollar lets make the world safer democracy missions," said Becky Gillette, a peace activist.

"People are seeing that we don't have enough money to help our own people. But we are floating billions over seas," said event organizer Jim Smith.

Despite their political convictions, organizers say this event is not just about the war or the President.

It's also about recognizing the troops who are putting their lives on the line for their country.

"I felt it was important to be here to publicly honor them regardless of my political view points," said Smith.

Returning to the White House on Sunday President Bush asked all Americans to join him in expressing their gratitude to our nation's military heroes.

"On this third anniversary of the start of the liberation of Iraq.. I think all Americans should offer thanks to the men and women who were the uniform and their families who support them. We are implementing a strategy that will led to victory in Iraq and a victory in Iraq will make this country more secure," said President Bush.

While President Bush says progress is being made.

For some that progress can't come soon enough.

According to the Associated Press the number of American soldiers who died in Iraq is now more than 23-hundred.