Faces of the Fallen
If you want to get some sense of the human cost of our intervention in Iraq, take a look at the Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen site — it shows photos and biographical information (including how they died) for every American soldier killed in Iraq since the opening of hostilities in the spring. Keep in mind, too, that these are just the soldiers who were killed in action; the site doesn’t include the thousands more who have been wounded.
November 4, 2003
Jason, thanks for posting that. When I read through all the names and looked at all the pictures, I daydreamed about what the soldiers were like, what their families were like, if they had a special someone waiting for them back home, if they had kids, what they liked to do for fun… It’s a melancholy exercise but it makes the soldiers “real”, not just numbers. Seeing their photos, it’s strange to think that they’re not alive somewhere. They’re gone. They don’t get to come back home one last time and see everyone. They don’t get to sing in the shower, or watch their favorite movie, or eat their favorite food again. They’re gone. This list is real. And now I kind of get it.
November 4, 2003
Yes, that’s why I thought it was important to point to — to remind folks that these were real flesh-and-blood people, not just numbers or abstractions or pawns on a chessboard. And so many of them were so young…
One that really drove the point home for me can be found if you look on the “Faces of the Fallen” site under April 2. One of the casualties listed there is Army Captain James Adamouski, who died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash outside Karbala:
What’s so moving about Adamouski’s entry is that the Post has actually archived a letter he sent home to his wife, Meighan; the last letter he sent before his death, and a letter that his family didn’t receive until after they’d been notified of the crash. The link on the Post’s site isn’t working too well, so here’s a direct link to it:
Capt. Adamouski was 29 when he died that day in Karbala. He was a graduate of West Point, and was scheduled to go to Harvard Business School upon his return from Iraq. Now, he’s in Arlington Cemetery, just another name on the list of casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It’s important to remember him, and all his comrades, as people, not just as numbers or names. They made the ultimate sacrifice in the sands of Iraq; we owe them no less.