Our View

Sep 142003
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

-Tampa, Fla.-

“How many?”


That is the only discussion between two journalists about an American convoy attacked the night before in Iraq, killing two American soldiers.

I am in Florida attending a Society of Professional Journalists conference where we you can see everything from discussions of the ethics of Jayson Blair and embedded journalists to a tribute to Johnny Cash during the Battle of the Media Bands.

It is great fun, but it is some of the discussions of the fighting in Iraq that worry and sadden me. I am troubled by how numb we are as journalists and, I think, the public, to the general loss of life in Iraq.

According to some previously embedded journalists, two to seven American soldiers are killed every week in Iraq. And, about 60 percent of the Marines fighting in Iraq are under the age of 23, according to that same journalist.

This means that the people we are losing now not only leave behind devastated family and friends, but also an entire life not yet lived.

This is devastating. But because it happens every day we have just become numb to the continuous loss of life.

My roommate’s step-brother is currently fighting in Iraq with the National Guard. Whenever there is word of a soldier dying on the news, she listens for what company the soldier was with and then moves on.

Because so many are being killed it does not phase us that they are dying, we just listen to see if it is someone we know.

With the passing anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 people came together again for that one day. The city busses here in Tampa all wrote “United we stand” on their marquis signs.

It is sad to me that it takes a tragedy to join together to people of this country and that we can only do it for one day each year. We should always be joined and always remember those who have lost their lives as a result of the freedom we often take for granted.

We need to be in support of our troops and united more than just one day each year in remembrance of horrible events.

We need to remember. We need to keep some of our attention focused East and continue to send out support and love of the men and women risking their lives to protect our freedoms.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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