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Panetta Formally Shuts Down US War In Iraq [VIDEO]

U.S. Military Holds Flag Casing Ceremony In Baghdad As Troops Pullout Of Country
U.S. Military Holds Flag Casing Ceremony In Baghdad (Mario Tama, Getty Images)

The U.S. military has formally shut down the war in Iraq, officially retiring the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq.

Troops lowered the flag and wrapped it in camouflage, formally “casing” it, according to Army tradition.

The ceremony was attended by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told troops they leave Iraq with “lasting pride.”

Panetta said veterans of the nearly nine-year conflict can be “secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside.”

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, also spoke at the ceremony at Baghdad International Airport.

View the  interactive on this story here.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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