Monday, May 25, 2009

Take a moment, give something back

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.


4 comments:

Merry said...

Ground-root support always feels much more effective than a government-sponsored initiative. I kept wishing these guys provided more specifics of what they were going to do to help, but I agree that it's a laudable goal.

fulation - the act of eating until you have been satiated.

orangehands said...

Good post. I had this long thing to add about the deaths from war instead of in war, and the treatment of veterans, and many other things...but, well, I'm sure you know it all and it turns kind of rant-y near the end so...

anyway, yes, they deserve more than a few days of people remembering them.

BCB said...

OH, I know. It took a great deal of restraint not to turn this into a rant. The way we treat our veterans, especially the ones who are wounded, is heartbreaking and shameful.

And yes, Merry, it's very difficult to give money to someone and "hope" they spend it wisely and efficiently. But I have more faith in a guy like Bob Woodruff who has suffered a war-related injury than I do in the government. Sad, but true.

orangehands said...

I agree with you BCB, that I'd rather give money to the grass roots guy/gal than the govt cause I think they'll spend it better. And considering my distrust and disliking of most of the human race, that says something.