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Five years after shock and awe

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As we mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the sad milestone of 4,000 American soldiers killed, the effects of the war are obvious and nuanced, quiet and loud. We rarely see coffins or the protests of those opposing the war. Soldiers return home to loved ones, while others contemplate their future as they prepare to deploy. These photographs are presented to honor the fallen soldiers, including those killed in Afghanistan, and to illustrate Americans' conflicting emotions about the war.

Click for larger image • Junior ROTC members honor Cpl. Joshua C. Blaney, Dec. 21, 2007, in Mint Hill. Blaney was killed by an IED in Afghanistan Dec. 12, 2007. He was 25.
  • Click for larger image • Junior ROTC members honor Cpl. Joshua C. Blaney, Dec. 21, 2007, in Mint Hill. Blaney was killed by an IED in Afghanistan Dec. 12, 2007. He was 25.

Click for larger image • Carley Blaney carries an American flag from the coffin of her brother, Joshua Blaney, after his funeral in Charlotte.
  • Click for larger image • Carley Blaney carries an American flag from the coffin of her brother, Joshua Blaney, after his funeral in Charlotte.

Click for larger image • An estimated 200,000 demonstrators converge in Washington, D.C., Sept. 14, 2005, to protest U.S. involvement in Iraq, including torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
  • Click for larger image • An estimated 200,000 demonstrators converge in Washington, D.C., Sept. 14, 2005, to protest U.S. involvement in Iraq, including torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Click for larger image • Thousands of anti-war protesters rally at Union Square and march down Broadway in Manhattan April 29, 2006, to show their anger toward the Bush administration for the ongoing war in Iraq.
  • Click for larger image • Thousands of anti-war protesters rally at Union Square and march down Broadway in Manhattan April 29, 2006, to show their anger toward the Bush administration for the ongoing war in Iraq.

Click for larger image • April Ponce De Leon, 22, a Marine corporal stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, prepares to deploy to Iraq in July 2007. She previously supported the war but now calls it an "occupation."
  • Click for larger image • April Ponce De Leon, 22, a Marine corporal stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, prepares to deploy to Iraq in July 2007. She previously supported the war but now calls it an "occupation."

Click for larger image • A soldier oversees the return of the 1st and 2nd Brigade combat teams of the 82nd Airborne based at Fort Bragg, March 18, 2008. They had been deployed for 15 months in Iraq.
  • Click for larger image • A soldier oversees the return of the 1st and 2nd Brigade combat teams of the 82nd Airborne based at Fort Bragg, March 18, 2008. They had been deployed for 15 months in Iraq.

Click for larger image • At Fort Bragg, families are reunited after the combat teams' return.

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