FSU Democrats Salute Our Troops Over Seas

Wednesday a memorial at Florida State University to honor the troops who've lost their lives in Iraq drew appreciation and controversy.

Students walking across Landis Green on Florida State's campus didn't know what to make of the American flags placed across the lawn, but they soon learned each flag represented a U.S. casualty of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Students say it scares them to realize the death toll is now in the 700s.

"I'm from Minnesota, and there were three men two weeks ago that died, just fear that more are going to die for a cause not every body agrees with," says Annie Pierson, whose brother-in-law is leaving for Iraq.

The flags were placed on the lawn by FSU's college democrat club. Some students feel the club is only pushing a political agenda.

"You can't support people doing things if you can't support the cause. It's doesn't make sense to say we support the troops, but we hate what they're doing," says FSU student John Fetchero.

Club member Tom Barcus says these comments are made in reference to a belief held by some that democrats do not support the current war in Iraq.

"In all honesty, some democrats do and some democrats don't, but that's not what we're out here to do, we're just out here to show support for the troops, in a general sense, people think democrats don't support the war, and because of that we don't support the troops," says Tom.

While observing the flags, some students couldn't help but to be mindful of their own friends and relatives in the war.

"I think it 's a great idea to have the flags out here. I've got friends who've gone over to Iraq, and if my friend had died it would be comforting to know that somebody is remembering him even if it's just a flag. I think it's a great idea," Neal McCullohs says.

The U.S. Department of Defense reports as of April 20th the number of U.S. casualties during Operation Iraqi Freedom is at 707.