October 10, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut
Arlington West Afghanistan War Memorial
This weekend, which marks the start of the TENTH year of the war in Afghanistan, San Diego Veterans For Peace & Vietnam Veterans Against The War have set up an Arlington West Memorial on the lawn of the Midway Museum in Downtown San Diego, in honor of the service men and women who have fallen in this conflict. As I write this, the number of Americans killed in the Afghan War stands at 1317. To raise awareness of the human and fiscal toll this war is taking on our country, members of these two organizations have placed 1317 tombstones and candles, one for each fallen American, on the Midway Museum lawn
Today (October 10, 2010) Begins The Tenth Year Of The War In Afghanistan
The Arlington West Memorial is a sprawling, emotional display of exactly how big a number 1317 is. As one walks through the memorial, the first thing that crosses your mind is that there are A LOT of tombstones. Shortly thereafter, it starts to sink in that each marker represents a dead American soldier, and that’s when the emotion takes over.
Arlington West Memorial In Front Of The Midway Museum
At this memorial, the veterans that set it up and staff it through the weekend have other displays detailing the fiscal cost of the war over the last 9 years, which is currently just over $1 trillion. That is a number that might be hard to wrap your head around so I offer the following analogy: $1 trillion dollars is enough money to give every American man, woman and child a check for about $3300, which means everyone in our country could be paid $2.50 every time an American is killed in Afghanistan.
After Sunset At The Arlington West Fallen Soldier Memorial
As a veteran and a patriot, it can be hard to stomach some of the things my country has done since starting the war on terror, the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. The main problem for me is that the government and the military inflexibly believe that I should just trust them to do what is best, even though they both have track records that show they can’t be trusted, believed or held accountable if either one does anything wrong. I offer the Bradley Manning case as additional evidence of this.
1317 Dead Americans In Afghanistan… And Still Counting
This memorial will be in place on the lawn of the Midway Museum until sunset tonight and is open and free to the public. Feel free to walk through the memorial and talk to the veterans that set it up. They have a guest-book in which they invite the public to share their thoughts or art regarding the memorial or the war in Afghanistan. The book will be mailed to the White House, with the intent of helping to wake congress up to the fact that Americans are sick of war, distraught over their sons and daughters dying and would like our democracy to actually function again.