It means nothing to those who have lost someone. One is the only number that matters. The one brother my friend lost. The one son my patient lost. The one child a nameless Iraqi mother lost.
People say they find solace in God. Bullshit. People say they find solace in heroism and valor. Bull-fucking-shit. Those left behind are still devastated. Lives are left unfinished. Valor could have taken place on a street corner or in a factory.
I’m not going to make friends with this post. I don’t know the answers. I don’t even know if we should be leaving Iraq soon. What I do know is that puppet-masters in Washington committed an unforgivable sin. They didn’t know what they didn’t know, and acted on their arrogant ignorance sending kids to kill and die and break. There was ignorance, there was deception. There will be undeserved forgiveness given by people looking for a way, any way, to gain meaning from loss.
4000 means nothing. Each 1 means something. The larger the number, the harder it is for someone to understand, a face lost in a crowd. Each person has a name, and whether it’s carved into a tombstone or scribbled onto a waiting list at a VA clinic, someone knows that person, someone is left behind. The ripples spread from each broken body and broken mind.
I’m forgiving no one, for the dead, the living, the broken, the deserted, for the fact that people will hate me for writing these words.
Wars break people.