Reading names on television honors dead

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2004

I am shocked and disappointed that anyone could object to reading the names of the brave Americans who fell in Iraq on television. Mr. Johnson calls it a "shame" that "trivializes" the American war dead. Not so. What does trivialize the dead is to reduce them to a body count. It trivializes our fallen to say we should be happy that they are dying in lower numbers than in World War II or Vietnam. Ignoring the names and faces of these men and women reduces them to an accounting entry.

Every soldier who had their name read Friday left behind friends and families. They had many gifts that will no longer be shared with loved ones or the nation. Each of those names belonged to a person who was created in very image of God and who died in service to their country. I think they should be remembered in death as they were in life, not as an amorphous mass of dead soldiers, but as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who will never again make a loved one smile or be present at Christmas dinner.

The whole country needs to hear their names and see their faces, so we can honor their memory and remember the cost of war. If we can't look into their eyes, if we can't speak their names, then we are unworthy of their sacrifice.

Daniel Cornwall


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