War and History Non-Fiction posted March 16, 2008

This work has reached the exceptional level
A very short commentary on something I read today.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

by Janilou

Bring Them Home.

Somewhere in Iraq, right now, there is a soldier. That soldier doesn't know it yet, but he or she will become a milestone, a number marking the 4000th death of an American soldier in Iraq.

Tonight, that soldier might be relaxing in his tent, writing a letter or perhaps calling home. He has plans, dreams, perhaps children and a wife waiting at home. His parents long for the day when they won't have to worry about his being away at war. Perhaps the soldier is a young woman, dreaming of the day she returns home to pursue her college degree. The army promised her a bright future, thanks to paid college tuition.

In a matter of weeks, or months, instead of the long-awaited homecoming, a knock will come. The knock on the door every military family dreads. Lives will be changed forever. There will be no more letters. No more phone calls. No joyous reunion. Hopes and dreams will drain away like the blood on Baghdad's streets.

Every soldier is a number. Every number is a person who didn't want to die fighting in Iraq. Still the deaths come, and our country goes about its business oblivious to the agony of the families left behind.

Tonight, I pray there will be no number 4000. I don't want to hear about another soldier dying for my freedom. I want to believe there'll be a miracle and not one more soldier will die. Tonight as I write, the news tells me Americans have stopped caring about the deaths in Iraq. I guess they forgot to ask me if I cared.

The article explained Americans are far less likely to "know" someone who has died in Iraq compared to World War II. I knew someone. His name was Stephen Daniel Shannon and he died in Iraq on January 31, 2006. He was our neighbor's son, and to this day, I weep for them.

The article also informed me 3988 soldiers have died in Iraq as of today, March 16, 2008.

Isn't that enough?

No, far from it. It is 3988 too many.


This tragic number 4000 was reached on Easter Sunday, 2008 with the deaths of four US soldiers from a roadside bomb. There isn't much else to say. Even though my son returned safely from Iraq, I want to see the rest come home safely too. It breaks my heart to think of those families and the soldiers who are giving their lives so far away from home.
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