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President to Fort Bragg troops: 'You stood up for America'

Chris Keane / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina Dec. 14, 2011.

NewsChannel 36 reports:

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — President Barack Obama welcomed home some of the last U.S. troops from Iraq on Wednesday, marking a symbolic end to the nearly nine-year war that strained America's armed forces and damaged its standing worldwide.

Addressing soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, Obama stopped short of declaring victory in Iraq but called the winding down of the conflict "an extraordinary achievement."

"It is harder to end a war than to begin one," he told about 3,000 soldiers gathered in an airplane hangar as they punctuated his speech with cheers and hollers.

Gerry Broome / AP

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet troops during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011.

Chris Keane / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama greets troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina Dec. 14, 2011.

President Obama delivers remarks to troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on the official end of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war.