Six American soldiers were killed and a handful more were wounded Sunday morning when a van packed with explosives detonated next to a small outpost in southern Afghanistan.
The explosion, according to the New York Times, blasted a hole through the outpostâ€™s wall, causing the roof to collapse. Other soldiers scrambled to the scene, clawing frantically through the rubble to free their buried comrades.
Contrast that with our Sunday morning here in Fort Collins, where many of us woke up late, grabbed some hot breakfast and headed to the library to study for finals, not having to deal with bombs, or dust, or dying friends or months more of deployment in a forgotten part of the world.
Itâ€™s not hard to forget about Afghanistan with the stress of finals next week and the joy of the approaching holiday season. And while weâ€™d prefer to leave you for the semester with a fun editorial about how to spend your textbook buy-back cash, itâ€™s events like Sundayâ€™s bomb blast that should remind us to reflect this year on what weâ€™ve lost because this holiday season at least six more of our young men wonâ€™t be home for the holidays â€“â€“ not this year and not ever.
To date, 1,426 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to iCasualties.org. With just more than two weeks left in the year, 479 have died in 2010, and that number will surely rise.
For many of us, the upcoming holidays will be about family, giving presents and joy. For many families of the U.S. service men and women who have served and are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, this year and many after will be about the fracturing of family, taking away life and sadness.
Amid our own celebrations, thatâ€™s something we need to remember.