While most of us in the West celebrated Easter Sunday, the 4,000 US soldier perished in Iraq. I'm not sure if the Allied death toll was reported that day. Or, if mention was given to all of the soldiers who came home wounded. And, I doubt if many in the press gave much of a mention to the number of Iraqi military men or Iraqi civilians who have died or have been wounded.
I guess that the only thing that I am sure of is that one person counted them all and wept.
Veterans Mourn the Loss of 4,000 U.S. Troops in Iraq
Death Toll Is a Stark Reminder of the Human Cost of War
NEW YORK - On Sunday the death toll of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq reached 4,000. In response, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest non-partisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued the following statement:
"The 4000th KIA in Iraq is newsworthy, but the truth is that every death should be a news item," said Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "The 4000th death should not be exploited in the polarized arguments about the war. Honoring the fallen is neither a pro nor an anti war statement. It's about respecting the sacrifice of thousands of America's sons and daughters."
Last week, IAVA called on the media to report more thoroughly on the war in Iraq. According to the Pew Research Center, last month's media coverage of the war was at its lowest point in five years and less than a third of the public knew how many troops had died in Iraq.
"Over 80% of Americans are aware that Oprah Winfrey endorsed Senator Obama, yet only 28% know how many troops have died in Iraq. These numbers are a slap in the face to everyone who has served in the current conflicts," said Rieckhoff. "While thousands of military families across the country are coping with the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, most Americans don't even know the death toll."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families who have sacrificed for the war. But the fallen are much more than a statistic. More than half of those killed were under the age of 25 and many have left young families behind. Over 2,200 children have lost a parent in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the nation's first and largest group for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A non-profit and nonpartisan organization, IAVA represents more than 80,000 veteran members and civilian supporters in all 50 states. To arrange an interview with Paul Rieckhoff or any other IAVA member veterans, please contact Kara Horowitz at (212)-982-9699, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.iava.org.
In Memory of the fallen, IAVA has shared footage of Navy Seal Michael Monsoor's memorial service. Monsoor was killed in Iraq on September 29, 2006. May this footage honor them all