On a day like today it is easy to say x number of people died or that one war was ignored so we could fight another, unnecessary, one. But I think it misses the point -- which is that people died on September 11th. People died and are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, lovers and friends. Heroes we know what they did and heroes we will never know what they did.
Then there are those who are injured for life both physically and mentally. This is not to say we should or should not have gone to Iraq or that we should or should not still be in Afghanistan. I would like to stop for a moment and step outside the politics and remember the people.
Click here to get a CNN interactive map.
Lt. Joe Theinert
(the following was written by a friend of his)
Joe was killed by an IED. He was leading his platoon on a dismounted patrol when they came under fire and were driven to an area mined with IEDs. Joe disabled one and began to disable a second when he heard the trigger mechanisim [sic] fire. He quickly told the twenty men in his platoon to "get back!' before it exploded. He saved twenty lives that day. He was the only soldier killed in the incident. I worked with Joe before he was deployed and he will never be forgotten.
Spc. Charles Anthony Kaufman
From: Fairchild, Wisconsin
Unit: Company C, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Regiment, Wisconsin Army National Guard
Died: June 26, 2005
Killed when a car bomb detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad, Iraq, on June 26, 2005
Col. Faruk Sungur
Unit: Turkish Army
Died: July 14, 2009
One of two Turkish soldiers killed when their armored vehicle was involved in a vehicle accident in Faryab province, Afghanistan, on July 14, 2009
Lt.Thomas Mullen Adams
Killed along with six British servicemen when two British Sea King helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf on March 22, 2003
Cpl.Bryan Scott Wilson
Battery G, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Died due to a non-hostile vehicle incident in An Nukayb, Anbar province, Iraq, on December 1, 2004
Cpl. Kumar Pun
From: Parbat, Nepal
Unit: Company F, 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles
Died: May 7, 2009
One of two British soldiers killed when a sucide bomber detonated an explosive device near his patrol in Gereshk, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on May 7, 2009
There are just way too many names for my blog. 2134 Coalition troops have died thus far. 1321 US, 339 UK and 474 from other countries.
Maybe someday we will evolve past wars, maybe not. But in the meantime we can try to remember that each and every person in these 2 wars volunteered to be there. We owe these people gratitude if not respect. They certainly did much more than I was willing to do.