By John Rutherford, Producer, NBC News, Washington
America paused, sighed and resumed its ways without even learning the names of the four soldiers whose deaths pushed the U.S. death toll in Iraq to 4,000.
But the grief has just begun for the families of Jose Rubio, Chris Hake, George Delgado and Andy Habsieger, all members of the Third Infantry Division who died of injuries suffered in a roadside bombing on Easter Sunday near Baghdad.
In Mission, Texas, just this side of the Mexican border, Jennifer Rubio read about the fatal blast in a local newspaper but had no idea her husband (right) was among the dead until Army officials arrived at the couple's small apartment behind City Bride & Flower Shop.
"We're still in shock," Rubio's brother Edgar told The Monitor. "It's not quite real."
In Hinesville, Ga., two Army officers knocked on Kelli Hake's door at 6 a.m. Monday morning (left).
"They said, 'We regret to inform you there's been an accident,'" she told the Stillwater News Press. "I can't remember anything after that."
George Delgado's mother in Palmdale, Calif., shared the tragic news of his death with his former principal at Desert Christian High School.
"She called us, which was very sweet," the principal told the Los Angeles Daily News. "She said they're okay, but it's very hard."
Michael Habsieger had just returned from checking on a new Collie puppy for his son Andy when he spotted a government car pulling up to their home in Festus, Mo.
"When you see that, you know exactly who they are and why they are there," Andy's mother told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We're just numb."
Brenda Habsieger said her son was more than just a number (right).
"I don't like to hear about 4,000," she said. "One through 4,000 was very important, and I hope that people realize they all have faces, they all have families, and they all have a purpose in life."
1. Marine Lance Cpl. Dustin Canham, 21, of Lake Stevens, Wash.
2. Army Pvt. George Delgado, 21, of Palmdale, Calif.
3. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, 26, of Hinesville, Ga.
4. Army Pfc. Andrew Habsieger, 22, of Festus, Mo.
5. Army Spc. Jose Rubio, 24, of Mission, Texas.
6. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Gamboa, 34, of Yigo, Guam.
7. Army Spc. Gregory Rundell, 21, of Ramsey, Minn.
8. Army Spc. Joshua Molina, 20, of Houston, Texas.
9. Army Staff Sgt. Keith Maupin, 24, of Batavia, Ohio.
10. Army Cpl. Steven Candelo, 20, of Houston, Texas.
11. Army Spc. Durrell Bennett, 22, of Spanaway, Wash.
12. Army Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, of New Port Richey, Fla.
Washington Producer John Rutherford is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He also posts stories on the military at www.fieldnotes.msnbc.com (click on "John Rutherford" under "categories") and at http://john-rutherford.newsvine.com/. The tribute gallery can be found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22802019/.