Sunni jihadist forces, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), launched a major offensive in northern Iraq on June 9, resulting in the capture of Iraq’s second largest city on June 10. Counter-attacks by Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga slowed the offensive, and Shiite Iraqis have been volunteering in large numbers to fight ISIS. The US and Iran have been discussing the situation, and might work together to support the Iraqi government.
In March of 2003, then President George W. Bush announced to the nation that the United States and coalition forces had launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. The U.S. joined by Britain, Australia and Poland set out to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. Baghdad had fallen to the invading forces by April 9th. One of the primary missions was to recover and destroy weapons of mass destruction – none were ever found.
For many, Memorial Day marks a day of remembrance, honoring military men and women who died while serving their country. It has been celebrated since the end of the Civil War. Here are scenes from around the country of Americans remembering the fallen.