Memorial honors 4,000 fallen US soldiers

CHICAGO The service at St. James Episcopal church was organized by several peace organizations that are honoring fallen soldiers and calling for an end to the war. A memorial made up of black squares includes the name, rank and home state of each U.S. soldier killed in Iraq. The blocks cover the walls at St. James.

"We just feel very strongly that these were unnecessary deaths, that it was for a war that didn't need to be fought against a country that really wasn't a threat to our country," said Mary Zerkel, American Friend Service Committee.

One of the names on the memorial is U.S. Marine Jeffrey Morris, a 19-year-old Bernie resident killed four years ago. His father believes the U.S. should stay in Iraq until the job is done.

"I honestly never thought that we'd reach 1,000," said Kirk Morris, whose son was killed in Iraq. Morris has now devoted his life to helping veterans and their families. He said there is no worse feeling than getting that knock on the door, but said he strongly believes in the war and the sacrifice his son and others have made.

"Was it worth 4,000 people? It most likely is. I'm proud to say my son and my family were a part of it. I just don't like the outcome," said Morris.

Morris's views are shared by U.S. President Bush.

As long as I'm president I have vowed to make sure those lives are not lost in vain, that in fact there is an outcome that will merit the sacrifice that civilian and military alike have made," said Bush.

Morris was killed on April 4, 2004.

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