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Friday, July 27, 2007

Ohioans Who Gave Their Lives: All Served The Nation Post 9/11

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The names and faces are memorialized online, and by typing the word Ohio in the hometown line you can see them all. Somebody once wrote that soldiers at war "learn of death and maiming when most are concerned with marriage and mortgages." The list presents the reality of war. The call. The bravery. The sacrifice. The loss.

Who remembers now the early days after the World Trade Center's fall into heaps of rubble, when Americans in uniform were first sent to The Philippines? But the faces of those who died in 2001 -- long before Iraq -- begin the list. Then we took the news quietly. It was just the beginning.

H/T to Bill Callahan, who has memorialized the Cleveland area's fatalities. He made me think about the things men do in war, and the things war does to us. And how little we think about it at all, how we barely dare to think. As the poet Wilfred Owen put it:

"Let the boy try along this bayonet blade
How cold steel is, and keen with the hunger of blood . . .

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