Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Remember the Fallen

"One man shall smile one day and say goodbye.
 Two shall be left, two shall be left to die.

One man shall give his best advice.
Three men shall pay the price.

One man shall live, live to regret.
Four men shall meet the debt.

One man shall wake from terror to his bed.
Five men shall be dead.

One man to five. A million men to one.
And still they die. And still the war goes on."
           --James Fenton, "Cambodia"

For a long time in this blog I reported month after month on the names of the US troops that have fallen in this war called terror since 2003. But I stopped after a long time because there were too, too many names and I could not list them all.

But I come back to the war that still rages. Hopefully it really is winding down. But since its inception CNN reports that 7500 men and women have been killed. They come from 20 countries. They were soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors and some US Departmental employees.

We are also told that over 15,672 US troops have been wounded in action. The lives of so many families have been torn apart and will be the same.  These figures do not include all those innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan that have lost their lives. They are really the tip of the iceberg.

 Nicholas D. Kristof writes in Sunday's  New York Times about the suicides that are the result of this war. He writes, :"For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands." And then he adds: "These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq." Both young men came home broken. Ryan died of a drug overdose. The mother says of Michael, "He is making some progress. He is able to get out of bed in the morning now."

Kristof writes in moving terms about this epidemic of suicides and broken returnees that we hear little about.  He has discovered that veterans from this war kill themselves at the rte of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are reported every year. Read Kristof's article and remember all those that have fallen.

"When after many battles past,
Both, tired with blows, make peace at last,
What is it, after all, the people get?
Why, taxes, widows, wooden legs, and debt."
--Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. it never hits the media because it makes people uncomfortable. it doesn't fit nicely into a black and white world. it reminds us that there is no completely good or bad thing in the world.