American troops on Memorial Day honored their fallen on two battlefields, one war winding down and another ramping up. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military remembered the toll so far on the troops — more than 4,900 dead — with the outcome still unclear.

In Iraq, soldiers and Marines stood solemnly during a playing of Taps at Baghdad''s Camp Victory. They saluted a memorial of a single helmet propped on a rifle beside a pair of boots.

Thousands of miles away, in the Afghan capital of Kabul, soldiers left mementos at a similar memorial for two comrades who recently died.

"Memorial Day for us is intensely personal," Gen. David McKiernan, the outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told a crowd at Camp Eggers. The training command based there has lost 70 soldiers since last Memorial Day.

"It is the empty seat in the mess hall, the battle buddy who is no longer here, or the friend who did not return from patrol. And it is the commitment to carry on with the mission in their honor," McKiernan said.

In Iraq, long the main focus of America''s "Global War on Terror," the loss has been no less bitter.

"We grieve their loss and we smile at their memory," Brig. Gen. Peter C. Bayer Jr. told a crowd of about 100 at Camp Victory on the western outskirts of Baghdad.