At the Washington Post website, you can see the faces of most of the 2500 fallen heroes. (Last updated on 5/10)
You can click to learn their names, hometowns, date and manner of their death. This database allows you to search by age, year of death, home state, service branch.
Here’s what I learned:
21 of the 2500 were eighteen-year-olds. 2 of those were women. The database doesn’t have a gender search, so I had to do some Googling. From a May 15th article at military.com, I found this:
American Female Casualties of Wars
Iraq war: 52 have died from hostile fire, and 378 have been wounded in action. [emphasis mine]
158 of the 2500 were nineteen-year-olds killed since the beginning of the “War on Terror”. My oldest son is 19; one of his schoolmates is listed with the fallen, killed Sept. 28th 2005. Twenty-one-year-olds account for the most deaths – 329.
122 Pennsylvanians have died. California has lost the most soldiers – 283. Texas is next with 227.
1,383 of the 2500 were members of the US Army.
A fifty-nine-year-old staff sargeant with the National Guard was the oldest soldier killed.
Their names show an amazing variety of ethnic backgrounds: Garceau, Akintade, Bonifacio, Kreuter, Lapinski, Anderson, Le, Stevens – yet all died wearing an American flag on their shoulders. Some, the children of illegal immigrants or illegal immigrants themselves, were awarded citizenship post-humously in recognition of their sacrifice and devotion to their adopted homeland.
While the Bush administration continues to flog its twin themes of hate and fear, and while the Rubber-Stamp Republicans pass a ridiculous resolution to continue the poorly-planned, expensive failure of a war, many of us – liberal and conservative – are questioning the need to sacrifice even one more life in a country where 80% of the population wants us to leave.
We are questioning the need to continue a failed policy when the elected (and supposedly sovereign) government of Iraq is suggesting amnesty for those who have killed Americans, but not Iraqis.
We are questioning the necessity of our presence in a country where a civil war is breaking out based on religious differences that have existed for hundreds of years.
We are questioning the right of a government to send young people to die in our name while welcoming the wounded back with budget cuts to programs and agencies that provide assistance to them.
John Kerry said it in 1971 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and this new, updated version needs to be asked again and again and again until the Bush mis-administration gets the message. My words in [ ].
Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of [forcing democracy in Iraq].
Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of [Iraq] someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn’t have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can’t say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President [Bush] won’t be, […] “the [second] President to lose a war.”
We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in [Iraq]? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?…. [emphasis mine]