Human Cost of Iraq War

Posted by Katherine | June 26, 2008 – 1:26 pm

American TV-network coverage of the Iraq war is dropping off significantly. In fact most mainstream US media seems to be following the trend. Add to that the Pentagon’s ongoing reporting restrictions for caskets and funerals and it’s no wonder it’s hard to absorb the human cost of the war.

This photograph and the first video are both from Memorial Day this year, but their message is worth considering every day — in general and in the context of the election.

Kris Kros, a freelance photographer, saw these symbolic boxes on a beach and felt it was “not so happy memorial day when you think of” the fallen servicemen and women they represent. (Hat tip to Sue Salinger.)

Empty flag-draped coffins on beach
[Kris Kros / Flickr]

Homer, Alaska, hosted the Quaker Eyes Wide Open exhibit to honor Alaskan military personnel killed in Iraq. It included 108 pairs of combat boots interspersed with shoes representing Iraqi dead. The purpose: to alleviate the hollowness of statistics and allow observers to absorb the deaths and mingle without debate. Kevin Co, a local freelance filmmaker, recorded it in this probutcool video. (Thanks, Sarolta Cump.)


Kevin Co / Vimeo.

Military families left behind at home of course pay a daily cost of the war even when their fathers/mothers/spouses/children are alive and well in Iraq. Mommyluv3 made this video so that her three toddlers could wish their dad a happy Father’s Day while he was deployed. (Found by Sue Salinger.)

Search YouTube and you’ll find many more like this.

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