From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
On the heels of the news that the U.S. death toll in Iraq has risen to 4,000, the Clinton and Obama campaigns issued statements. Here they are:
CLINTON: "Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, there have now been 4,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq. On this solemn day, we remember the sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. We honor the tens of thousands more who have suffered wounds both visible and invisible, wounds that scar bodies and minds, and hearts as well. We honor the sacrifices of their families, a price paid in empty places at the dinner table, in the struggle to raise children alone, in the wrenching reversal of parents burying children.
"In the last five years, our soldiers have done everything we asked of them and more. They were asked to remove Saddam Hussein from power and bring him to justice and they did. They were asked to give the Iraqi people the opportunity for free and fair elections and they did. They were asked to give the Iraqi government the space and time for political reconciliation, and they did. So for every American soldier who has made the ultimate sacrifice for this mission, we should imagine carved in stone: 'They gave their life for the greatest gift one can give to a fellow human being, the gift of freedom.'
"I recall the great honor of meeting many of our brave men and women who have served our country. In meeting them, I am always struck by how, no matter how great their suffering, no matter how grave their own injuries, they always say the same thing to me: "Promise that you'll take care of my buddies. They're still over there. Promise you'll keep them safe."
I have looked those men and women in the eye. I have made that promise. And I intend to honor it by bringing a responsible end to this war, and bringing our troops home safely."
OBAMA: "It is with great sadness that we have reached another grim milestone in Iraq, with at least 4,000 of our finest Americans having been killed. Each death is a tragedy, and we honor every fallen American and send our thoughts and prayers to their families. It is past time to end this war that should never have been waged by bringing our troops home, and finally pushing Iraq's leaders to take responsibility for their future. As we do, we must serve the memory of all who have died as well as they served our country, by providing support for their families, caring for our troops and veterans, and upholding the American values which our fallen heroes exemplified through their service."