Take a moment today, Memorial Day, to remember the sacrifices others have made on your behalf. Even if -- maybe especially if -- you disagree with the decisions that led to so many deaths.
Photo of Arlington National Cemetery by Bruce Dale, published in National Geographic, June 2007.
A Google team has created a new website, just unveiled this weekend, called Map the Fallen. From Sean, its creator:
"This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories—you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial websites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died."
While I am somewhat disturbed by the invasion of privacy caused by all this high-tech satellite imagery, this application of it serves to remind us that those who died had names and faces and individual life stories, and they grew up in hometowns all across our country before facing death halfway around the world.
Go take a look. It's worth the hassle of installing the newest version of Google Earth.
And then go read this CNN article that states, in part:
". . . a recent study conducted by the RAND Corporation estimates more than 320,000 service members returned home with traumatic brain injury, and 300,000 suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. That is nearly one in five who have deployed."
Those who died are deserving of a day of national remembrance. But perhaps we can also take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those who did not die, but who are suffering daily under our nation's dubious care and respect.
They deserve more than one day of showy parades and solemn speeches, more than one moment out of our happy busy normal lives. They deserve the commitment of our effort and resources, the acknowledgment that we have a responsibility to take action and make sacrifices on their behalf, as they did on ours.
Go HERE and make a difference. I did.