Saturday, March 31, 2007

50 Yards

50 yards is all the separates these two memorials, one which commemorates the exact spot where the first shots of World War One were fired, and the other which commemerates the exact spot where the last shots of World War One were fired.

After an estimated total of 37 million casualties for the entire war, the net gain was a mere 50 yards.

Why do i bring this up?

The current casualty count in Iraq is roughly 3,500 coalition dead, about 3,200 of which are americans. Roughly 23,000 Americans have been wounded since the start of the war. These are harrowing statistics indeed, especially given the expectations of most Americans at the outset of the war, many who probably envisioned a smaller more successful campaign akin to the first gulf war.

But still, after four years of fighting, casualty counts are no where near what other generations have had to sacrifice over equitable time frames. I say that not to take any measure away from the great costs our soldiers are paying today for our freedoms (even one life taken is an immeasurable loss) but rather as a comment on our modern public here in America and their waning support for the war. I guess my question is, if this generation were transported back to the 1940's or 1910's or 1860's or 1770's, would it have the resolve and determination necessary to see a struggle through to victory, or would we roll over and capitulate. Is the lack of support for the war in Iraq because the war is going bad, or because the American public doesn't comprehend the cost of freedom and liberty as much as past generations have? Have we become a nation of Neville Chamberlains?

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