Sunday, December 31, 2006


As I'm sure you've all noticed, for several months now I've been updating the graph in my sidebar that simply shows the number of American fatalities in Iraq since March 23, 2003 - the day the first 6 American solders were killed as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Unfortunately, as of today, our 3000th soldier has died. This is not only tragic because of the loss of our brave men and women, but it is also the first time the number of Americans who have died in Iraq is greater than the 2996 who died here as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

My purpose of showing this graphic is not to make a political statement. I don't use this blog to voice my opinion about a party or military decision. It is simply intended to be a subtle reminder that our brave men and women are dying on a daily basis for us and that we should not forget about them merely because their sacrifices may not impact our personal daily lives and routines.

And, even though I am deeply sympathetic to anyone from any country who has lost someone as a result of this conflict, I am only showing the American fatalities because I am simply not able to summarize all of the casualties incurred without overcomplicating the intent.

This is the site where I am getting my information, which lists war-related casualties from ALL countries involved in Iraq - including the confirmed 6000 Iraqi soldiers and 22,000 civilian deaths. Of course this site can't comment on the number of estimated Iraqi civilian deaths because it deals only in factual data. However, other web surveys have listed numbers that vary widely from 100,000 to 250,000. In fact, some people estimate the civilian death toll to be over 600,000.

With the 3000th American soldier having died this week*, I encourage you to stop by their web site to explore and reflect on the information they have done such an excellent job of gathering and posting. And - whatever way you choose, to please pray for and/or honor the soldiers and their families who have given their lives for us.

* Pending DoD Confirmation


Jennine said...

I'm so glad you posted on this subject. It would be a tragedy not to be mindful of the sacrifices so many men and women are making on a daily basis. It's easy to go about our business in the saftey and comfort of our lives.

Well done, Jeff.

Dave2 said...

What is heartbreaking is that your graph shows room for more... lots more... deaths. Is it too much to hope that your graph never gets that full?

Mooselet said...

I think that one of the things Vietnam has taught us is that we can show honour and respect to our troops whether or not we support any military action. I, like many, have family and friends serving over in Iraq and I hope every day that they don't become one of those statistics, and yet I'm saddened because someone else's loved one is.

What a fine species is man...

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

jennine - Thanks. One is too many, 3000 is tragic.

dave - I originally had the graph scaled to show 5000 at the top, but it looked too much like I was aiming for a goal - so I took it off. I too hope that my graph never goes any higher.

mooselet - Well said.

Mom Thumb said...

We are in flight path for jets leaving and landing at Vance Air Base, and we see the people from the base all over town, so they are never far from my thoughts and prayers. But I have to say, that 3000 number got my attention. Thanks.

Elizabeth said...

When I saw you put up that counter I decided to stop reading your blog. My brother died over there in Aug of 2005 and I just don't like blogs that seem to use all the deaths over there to prove their political point. I'm glad I came back and check you out again. I didn't realize you were using it to remind people of their sacrifices and that's all. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Americans lost 405,399 men during World War 2 in less time than we have been in Afganistan and Iraq. Iwo Jima alone, cost 7,000 Marines in 36 days capturing that 6 mile long island. There was no newspaper scoreboard to tell the enemy how many husbands and fathers they had successfully destroyed. The war against moslem fundamentalists is a long way from over, and they will continue to attack the free world with any weapon they can aquire to destroy us and our economy.


Sandy said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff. The war has been heavy on my mind, if not in my blog, since its inception. I live near MacDill Airforce Base which houses CentCom for the Middle East. I've never been in favor of the war in Iraq but I've always been mindful, appreciative, and thankful for the men and women who have served there. I long for the day that they can come home and I long for the day that it's safe for civilians in Iraq. Who knows when those two days will meet?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

elizabeth - I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your brother is the exact reason I post this graphic - in honor of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for us.

Thank you so much for your comment. I would have never known that you or anyone else were thinking I was trying to make a political statement at the expense of our soldiers if you hadn't said anything. I've added an additional statement at the bottom that hopefully will send a clearer message.

Ashley Lasbury said...

Thank you, HM, for keeping our soldiers sacrifices front and center. I was deeply saddened to hear on the news last night about the 3000 death. It is the 22,000 wounded that sadden my even more.

Happy New Year, Jeff, and thank you for the laughs this past year.

Heather said...

There have been military men in my family for generations. My brother is the first to never enlist.

It is difficult for me to think of the families of all those who are serving our country...I cannot imagine how they must miss their loved ones.

deborah said...

Thank you for your continued interest in our nations unfortunate casualties. It's sad that, at a time such as this, you must voice your explanation/apologies, on your own page. It's ridiculous that we find ourselves constantly needing to keep our opinions inside, away from offending someone else.

We, too live in a flight pattern of and next to the 174th Fighter Wing - The Boys of Syracuse. And my stepson is currently fighting in Iraq for the Marines. His first of two tours. Funny word, "tour"

Thank you again. by the way. It's still green and warm here; the high today is 60! I'm sure we'll get our winter storm somewhere near the end of March. Enjoy the ducks.