President Barack Obama made good on his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq. On Wednesday, the president was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to welcome troops returning home from Iraq for the last time.

The President thanked the families of the troops who bore the challenges that they endured while spouses were overseas for long periods of time. “You too have the thanks of a grateful nation,” he said.

The President also noted that Iraq is not a “perfect place” and that its citizens still face challenges, but the efforts of the US military were not in vain. He said, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

President Obama showed pride in, and gratitude for, a job well done. He said, “We are building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle but with a final march toward home.”

The mission in Iraq lasted almost nine years, with 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 injured. Witness some of the most iconic images below.

[CNN]