December 8, 2006

remembering and pondering

Yesterday was Perl Harbor Day, a day that will live in infamy. I did put out the flag, but I neglected to blog something about it. As we close in on nearly 3,000 American military deaths in Iraq, I think it is important to think of what happened back in 1941.

On that day, the US military lost about 3,100 soldiers (some died in the days after the attack due to injuries suffered on the 7th). Compare this to the 2,925 American military deaths in the Iraq war so far, and you get a sense of the devastation caused that day, particularly to the Navy and Marines. Then consider that the Iraq war in August became a longer conflict than the American part of World War II in Europe (that is, from the day of the Iraq invasion until mid August was the same number of days between Dec 7, 1941 and VE Day).

A WWII veteran lives on my street, and he was 25 when he heard of the attacks on the radio. Within days, his draft papers showed up in the mail. He said he could have gotten out of service on a work exemption, but he went. Eighteen months of training in San Francisco, Missouri, and Florida, followed by deployment to England.

If you did not take a moment on December 7th to think about the attach on Pearl Harbor, take a few moments now. Whatever your thoughts, take a few moments to focus on Pearl Harbor and what it did, what it caused.

3,100 soldiers killed in that attack
2,996 people killed or missing in the 9/11 attacks
2,925 soldiers killed in Iraq (so far)

An estimated 214,000 deaths in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
An estimated 50,000 civilian deaths in the Iraq war so far

And still people criticize someone for putting a Peace Wreath on their house during the Christmas season. Will we ever learn?

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