Family empathizes with relatives of 4,000 killed in Iraq

As the U.S. death toll in Iraq hit a grim total of 4,000 Sunday, a Yonkers family mourned with the troops' relatives in spirit.

Four soldiers died in a Baghdad explosion Sunday, the same day rockets pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone. The heartbreaking news hit close to home for the Yonkers family of Army Sgt. Courtney Hollinsworth, who died in a September 2007 attack during his third tour of duty."I wish we were the last family to go through this," said Hollinsworth's stepfather, Vic Hollinsworth. "I wish they'd come home." Hollinsworth's parents learned about the deadly milestone as they prepared to take their daughter to college in Delaware. Hollinsworth's sister just wants all the troops to come home.

"They shouldn't be over there," said Nicole Hollinsworth. "There's no point. They're fighting for Bush."

On Monday, President George Bush marked the solemn milestone at the State Department. "One day, people will look back at this moment in history and say, 'Thank God there were courageous people willing to serve because they laid the foundation for peace for generations to come.'"

He also offered his sympathies and vowed that the lives would not be lost in vain. The White House said Bush is likely to embrace an expected recommendation from Gen. David Petraeus for a halt in troop withdrawals beyond those already scheduled to be completed by July, with the expectation that reductions would resume before the president leaves office in January.

Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are due to testify on Capitol Hill April 8 and 9.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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