March 2003 saw the start of the Iraq War. Ten years later, we know that the war's human costs have included the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians, permanent injury to more than 30,000 American service men and women, and the deaths of more than 4,000 American soldiers. As the war's anniversary approaches, it is right to remember all the dead, the injured, and their families.

The war has also had a financial cost of more than one trillion dollars: $1,000,000,000,000. We should remember this number today as we consider reducing services to vulnerable neighbors like seniors, children and the ill.

We should remember it when we talk about cutting investments in education, infrastructure, and (!) military veterans and their families.

We should remember these 13 figures when we think about cutting jobs and services from people who work hard for five figures. Will these investments in ourselves become further casualties of the Iraq War? Have they already? Perhaps our remembering might help us make more upbuilding decisions in the future.

The three of us are local pastors who meet for weekly bible study. God knows, the last thing most people want to hear are the self-righteous pleas of the clergy. But that's exactly the point. Your memories and your conversations are what matter so much.

Whatever your personal views may be, we hope that you will take time to reflect on this 10th anniversary of the Iraq War. Remember the dead and the injured, count the costs, and talk with someone about life together in this country that we share.

—Rev. Dr. Martin Lohrmann, Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
—Pastor Amy Yoder McGloughlin, Germantown Mennonite Church
—The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church