Coalition forces have lost over 7,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq since the wars there started. And just this week alone, the US lost 30 troops in Afghanistan. It’s heartbreaking, devastating. Some – most – of those who perished were only 21 years of age. Young men and women sacrificing themselves in the name of hope, of peace, of freedom.
CNN has an interactive map showing the hometowns of fallen US soldiers. They’ve provided their names, their photographs, age, unit and more. There’s an option for family members and friends to add comments, to share memories of their beloved heroes. You should take a look at this map. It’s one thing to hear the number of casualties. It’s another to see the number of pinpoints that represent each of these men and women dotting the US map. Hover over a pinpoint and you will see the soldier we lost there. You will have a chance to get to know him or her in a small way. To acknowledge them. To see who they were, to put a face to each of the numbers.
The casualty maps are here – Casualties: Afghanistan and Iraq
Though we can never thank these soldiers or their families enough for the sacrifice they’ve made, we can honor their memory and we can celebrate the return of others who have watched their comrades die, who have seen horrors we cannot imagine and who have returned to the loving arms of their families.
As much as we grieve for those we’ve lost, we need to cheer for those who’ve come home. And we need to thank them all for the selfless, tireless, brave and determined strength they’ve displayed.
Flags photo copyright: Dan