Thursday, November 29, 2007

3879 U.S. soldiers dead: Much more than just a statistic

It is heartbreaking to enter this holiday season with 3879 sons/ daughters/ brothers/ sisters/ mothers/ fathers/ loved ones gone forever. We as a nation seem to be numb to the pain of the deaths of these fellow Americans. I have posted this quote before, but it bears repeating. In 1945, Joseph Stalin said to Winston Churchill:
The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
To remind us of the tragedy of the war in Iraq, I will be regularly posting stories about some of the 3879 dead. From today's NewsDay:
Bronx soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq

A Bronx man who enlisted in the Army in January was killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in Iraq, the Defense Department said last night.

Pvt. Isaac T. Cortes, 26, died after a bomb blew up near his vehicle in Amerli, about 100 miles north of Baghdad.

Cortes was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) in Fort Drum. He died along with Spc. Benjamin J. Garrison, 25, of Houston. He is survived by his parents and brother.

At Cortes' home in the Parkchester section last night, family members said they didn't want to speak to a reporter. Cortes lived there with his father and older brother for at least 14 years, said a neighbor.

"Oh, no," he said on learning of Cortes' death. "It's terrible ... I can't even imagine how his father is feeling." The neighbor said he watched Cortes grow up. "I think he joined because he wanted to go to college," he said. "He was a nice kid, a polite kid. He just got over there."

"They've got to stop this [war], these young boys coming back like that," he added.

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