Thursday, November 5, 2015

Washington DC’s 'Missing' Memorial

-Abigail Hall
Washington, DC is home to a host of memorials. Walk in any direction for long and you’re bound to run into at least one of them. By far, the memorial that generates the strongest reaction from me is the Vietnam memorial. The name of all the US casualties are chiseled on the wall, from the start of the war to end. Someone is always there crying or making a rubbing of their loved-one’s name. What resonates with me about the memorial is that it’s strikingly cold, but hauntingly personal. It’s amazing how much emotion a name can generate—even on you don’t know. When I think that many of these men went to their deaths without a choice (as they were drafted), it’s hard to not feel emotional.

Certainly, the war memorials are full of tributes to the oft-citied “sacrifices of brave men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom.”

Although the city is full of memorials, there’s one group, one who arguably paid the highest price for all of the U.S. government’s interventions, for whom no memorial has been erected. It’s doubtful one will ever be built.

How could this be? What group has been denied honor in the nation’s Capitol?

Innocent civilians.

It’s estimated that between 85 and 90 percent of deaths in war are civilians. Put differently, for every combatant killed in a conflict, nearly ten civilians lose their life.

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