There’s much to remember on this memorial day.

Yes it’s about our departed fallen brothers and sisters in the military.

Yes it’s about the gold star families that carry on somehow, even without them.

Yes, it truly should also be about the world we all work to try to build on their sacrifice.

Because “the dead are the only ones who have seen the end of war.”

A big part of what is so sad about these casualties is their time cut short and the presence in their families’ lives they would otherwise have had. And to acknowledge that this story is only 1/ 2,432 US KIA in Afghanistan. And there were 20-30x that of ANSF. And there are many now left behind to the mercy of the Taliban. That the ~9 month old American citizen daughter of an interpreter of ours from that deployment is still stuck there. That even if she gets to United States, to a place of comparative safety, her war will not be over. She runs the risks that all American children do, where gunshots are the leading cause of pediatric death at 4,368 in 2020 alone (only ~110 short of all US KIA in Iraq ’03-11). Where more children have died from gunshot wounds than any other cause. Where there isn’t yet a covid vaccine for her age group despite the 1,526 deaths of children under 19 from the pandemic. And where her right to choose about her healthcare is in serious jeopardy depending not just on her choices but those of old men in power, just like before.

On this memorial day I am reminded of all of these deaths and that each one had a story of lives they touched, and of lives they would have touched if they had not been cut short by their preventable deaths. Let us press on to make those numbers less.

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