Names are still shown


We are all so fortunate to have this forum in which to voice our opinion.

Though we all strive for accuracy, errors will nevertheless creep in.

This is in response to the letter printed on March 7. It appears that the letter was written to distract veterans from their anger over having benefits cut, and may have been distributed to a particular group, perhaps by email.

There are, however, some factual errors which must be corrected. The last 27 months, through the end of February, have seen a total of 449, not 1,000, American soldiers’ deaths in Afghanistan, according to iCasualties.

And since 2001, the only month with 30 deaths was January of 2010, not last August. There have been more and there have been less, but never an August with that exact number.

The letter also states that the last 27 months have seen more deaths than the total of the 9 years before that. Clearly, this is untrue, since the years immediately following President Obama’s “surge” saw the heaviest death toll in Afghanistan, though we had many more than that in Iraq.

Further, the media has not been “curiously silent” about the deaths.

You may recall that one of the first things this president did was to rescind the previous president’s order forbidding the filming of the flag-covered caskets being unloaded from the planes. Indeed, this president, himself has gone to Dover to salute those soldiers who gave their all.

On Sunday morning, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” shows the names of all soldiers killed that week. That show has had different hosts over the years, but the names are still shown each week. The News Hour, on PBS, shows not only the names, but also the pictures and home towns of each soldier lost.

They show them in respectful silence, as their deaths are made official, and their pictures become available. NBC Nightly News announces the deaths, but not the names. If the writer has not been informed of the soldiers’ deaths, perhaps he ought to tune in to some other channels.

We tend to look at numbers, but each and every one of those deaths is a tragedy and a heartbreak for someone.

This president has promised to end participation in the war by our ground troops by the end of 2014, and we are already drawing down our troops. We should never have gotten involved in thousand-year-old conflicts half-way around the world.

To quote Pete Seeger: “When will we ever learn?”

Lola Johnson