Independent Christian Voice

Wednesday

More than a number

Okiedoke makes a fine point about the marking of the 2000th death in Iraq.

Marking the death of the 2,000th American killed in the Iraqi occupation strikes me as callous.

Washington marked the 2,000th American fatality of the Iraq war with a moment of silence in the Senate, the reading of the names of the fallen from the House floor
Last Sunday I watched the list of Americans killed during the previous week scroll down the TV screen. The vast majority were very young people, with the age of 20 appearing most often. The 1,994th was just as saddening to me as the 2,000th. I think waiting for every thousand Americans to die in Iraq before stopping to reflect is not enough. Yet, I realize that if we paused to honor each soldier’s ultimate sacrifice, the nation’s productivity would nose-dive and we’d end up missing some of our favorite television shows and sporting events. So I propose a compromise: The entire nation stop for a moment of silence every Monday at, say, 10 AM, to honor our fellow Americans who won’t be able to laugh, hug, play, or even work, ever again, so that we might.
He is absolutely right. One would be well served by reading the names of the soldiers called and even seeing their faces (see washingtonpost.com's Faces of the Fallen). To help with that, take a moment and read through this list (1,999 names listed as of the time of this post) from icasualties.org of those killed in Iraq as well as this list of just some of the wounded in Iraq. With each name, there's a life story. There's a grieving mother, father, brother or sister. There are grieving friends, former classmates and communities. For many it's unimaginable pain and sorrow. A hole has been left in the lives of countless more than just "2000." Each number represents the ultimate sacrifice — a life abruptly ended. Perhaps if we were more aware of the totality of the cost, it would give us more pause to carefully weigh the full price of our nation's actions.

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