Thursday, June 09, 2005

By The Numbers

As of today, 1,685 of America's finest have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Was/is it worth it? We hear the questions all the time, from MSM, from left-wing pundits, college professors, and politicians. Doubt permeates the airwaves. A pervasive lack of faith in our nation's mission in the Middle East is entrenched within the political left and its loyal mouthpiece, MSM.

I bear in mind always that every American who dies in this war is both an individual family tragedy and a devastating loss to this nation. We civilians, who are safe at home because of the brave service men and women who stand in the constant shadow of harm's way, can only step aside in awe and honor of their courage and sacrifice. We can never adequately thank our military for protecting us.

All that being said--is it worth it? The war is nearly two and one quarter years long, and we have lost 1,685 heroes. How can we justify such a loss?

Think back. Way back through tunnels of history, all the way back to September 11, 2001. How many Americans did we lose in the space of one hour?

Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 2005): 2,992

That figure includes the casualties at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, on the airplanes and the hijackers.
  • Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
    Number of NYPD officers: 23
    Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
    Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
    Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
    Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614

And 9/11 was the attack that kept on attacking:
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
    Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
    Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
    FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274
    FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661
    Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300
    Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200
    Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98
    Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
    Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
All this destruction, sorrow, and suffering wrought in a single hour, simply because the terrorists hate us for being free Americans.

The lefties never sleep when it comes to pressing forward on their internationalistic agenda, but I thought they might brake at 9/11.

I was wrong.

The memorial planned for the World Trade Center has taken on a "global" cachet, with the International Freedom Center (IFC) wanting in on the planning. Debra Burlingame, sister of one of the 9/11 pilots, is fighting them as worthily as any soldier.

Among Ms. Burlingame's very cogent statements is this:

The so-called lessons of September 11 should not be force-fed by ideologues hoping to use the memorial site as nothing more than a powerful visual aid to promote their agenda. Instead of exhibits and symposiums about Internationalism and Global Policy we should hear the story of the courageous young firefighter whose body, cut in half, was found with his legs entwined around the body of a woman. Recovery personnel concluded that because of their positions, the young firefighter was carrying her.

September 11 is an American story, with American heroes and American war dead. The battlefields were New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. In one brutal hour, we lost nearly twice the number of Iraq War troops killed since March 2003. The number of firefighters killed in a few burning seconds in the Twin Towers equal nearly 20% of all troops killed in Iraq to date.

Do not let the "globalists" defile their memories. Not any of them. Not the firefighters, police, rescue workers, innocent people doing their daily jobs or taking a plane trip who were killed as the war began. Neither allow the internationalists to defile the memory of the troops who have died in combat, taking the war to the enemy's backyard. And do not permit such an insult to the bravery of those who fight for us today.

Is it worth it? Before answering that question, I ask the following:

Has there been another September 11 in America these past four years?
When over 2,900 of our fellow citizens are murdered, should we rise and fight?
Would those 1,685 fallen heroes be proud of what they have accomplished in keeping their homeland, and thus their families, safe?

I'm a word person, but these questions I answer by the numbers. To me, the numbers say it's worth it.