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August 21, 2012

Still needed

Evander Andrews from NYT Faces of the Dead websiteFaces of the Dead reminds me of things we did during the Vietnam War era to try to humanize the numbers of dead that were being published every day.

In those pre-Internet days I was one of many who took part in a marathon public reading of the names of American soldiers killed since the start of the war. The number at that point was around 40 ,000.

We stood outside the Student Union at the University of Dayton in front of a handful of other students, reading in 1-hour shifts. As unglamorous as it sounds, hearing all those names, one after another, hour after hour, was profoundly moving.

Our goal then, I'm sure shared by the New York Times, was to change cold statistics into individual people so those listening/watching/reading would think about the true cost of this war.

Sadly, "this war" is yet another war, probably as unnecessary and futile as the previous war.

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