We present an excerpt from Donald Kaul’s latest column at the Institute of Policy Studies’ OtherWords.

Among the strange things that happened last year — and there were many — perhaps the strangest was the end of the Iraq War.

Did you notice it? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. It hardly even registered on the home front’s Richter scale.

We didn’t leave in triumph (that was World War II). We didn’t leave in confused embarrassment (that was Vietnam). We just left. We practically tiptoed away, hoping nobody would notice. And nobody did, hardly.

I remember the end of World War II. I was a 10-year-old in Detroit. My parents took me downtown to experience the celebration, for which I am forever grateful.

It was an extraordinary moment — an explosion of joy and relief and sense of victory, unlike any I had seen before or since.

Visit OtherWords to read Donald Kaul’s column in its entirety.

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