Due to some recent conversations, I've been searching for some statistics. Specifically for the total deaths of military personnel and civilians in the World Wars and for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The civilian count for World War II is staggering because of the number of lives lost in concentration camps. I found myself disheartened when it was clear a number was merely rounded up or down. For all the websites that I looked at for the World War I and II statistics, none had names listed.
Then, I found the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which gives extensive lists and graphs for the casulaties and fatalities of the Iraq War. I was trying to find something that was accurate and comprehensive, and it was there, complete with names, dates, causes of death, and the places they died. Names have faces and faces have families. As I scrolled slowly down the list I wondered what they tell us in the heat of this political mess. But they can't speak, instead, thousands of others will take the liberty they paid for with their lives to talk about the war, to ridicule it, to blame our leaders for it, to say it's unnecessary, or we shouldn't even be there, and on and on. Making a mockery of their service and at the same time making it harder and harder for those still on the ground, still risking their lives, still trying to protect the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens. But too many of us can't see beyond the small scope of our own individual lives and consequently we don't foresee the reprucussions of the things we say or do.