Monday, March 24, 2008

4,000

The tragic milestone was reached on Easter Sunday. The Times story I linked to has the stories and writings of several of the fallen. Reading them, seeing them deal alternately with everyday family issues and the absolute horror of hell on earth is a reminder that this is more than a statistic. These were 4,000 fathers and mothers and sons and daughters and sisters and brothers and boyfriends and fiancees whose lives touched hundreds of thousands more. Four thousand lives interrupted and, ultimately, ended by senseless violence. This is more than just “a number.” It’s 4,000 human tragedies. It will be generations before our country fully recovers, if it ever does.

And don’t forget Afghanistan, where at least 488 servicemembers have been killed. But even the appalling total of 4,488 dead doesn’t even count people like James McDonald, whose death isn’t counted toward the official total as part of the administration’s fuzzy math to keep this tragedy from looking so tragic, to keep its folly from looking so foolish.

If this sad occasion is a “sober moment” in the war, as the White House calls it, what does that make every other moment in this senseless war?

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