War is hell. However, it is impossible to understand its true nature unless you experience it. The good news is that many Americans have not been in battle, the bad news is the many of our sons and daughters are in combat today. Yet, the American people have had a very controlled view of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. News outlets were not allowed to show fallen soldiers and journalist’s, although some were on the front line, reports were controlled.
More recently, the current US administration lifted the ban on showing the wars and its human destruction. Today when a soldier is killed, there are detailed stories and pictures of the casket.
I am amazed and appalled at how the American public has been shielded from these wars. Today’s New York Times brought this home with the photo of “A Solemn Moment.” The photo itself is of an empty lot, no welcome home banners or next of kin, just a few solders with heads bowed down while boxes covered with American flags are lowered down to them from the transport aircraft.
At a time when most young Americans are celebrating their first drink, Private First Class, Richard A. Dewater, lost his life fighting for his nation. He was blown into a tree by an improvised explosive device. Pfc. Dewater is one of the few soldiers the American people have been able to see as he returned home in these terribly unfortunate circumstances. He reminds us of the horrors of war.
I’m sure this young man did not know he is also reminding us that, although the US is going through difficult financial times, Americans must not forget the sacrifices that are being made by soldiers in battle everyday. In turn, we must stand together and honor the fallen with a heavy heart while banding together to end all war.