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