[T]he 4000th death (and all the rest) does serve as a reminder to the cost of ineptitude and when compared to the early statements and rhetoric leading up to the war, and serves as a harsh reminder of the truth. No WMD. No link to 9/11 or al Qaeda. No threat of "mushroom clouds" over American cities if we did not invade Iraq, while a certain increased risk now because we've allowed al Qaeda to rebuild from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Five years later, what does the 4000-death mark mean to me? It means that today, like yesterday and tomorrow, we will lose some of the finest Americans we have. That is a harsh reminder that disastrous policy decisions have tragic consequences.