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Letter reminds US whose lives should be honored

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In the past month or so, America has mourned the loss of several celebrities. From Michael Jackson, to Walter Cronkite, news of their famous lives and now famous deaths have been overwhelmingly evident in every media outlet you can look to, but there are many people whose deaths we are forgetting about.

We’re forgetting about the millions of American soldiers who have lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, on July 5, the Washington Post published a letter from Martha Gillis of Springfield, Va., concerning the death of her nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw.

Bradshaw was killed in Afghanistan on June 25, which is the same day Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died. Gillis criticized the media for their abundant coverage of the King of Pop’s death over a local hero’s death.

She received a letter from an Air National Guard pilot and a member of the crew that brought her nephew back to the U.S. Their names are Capt. James Adair and Master Sgt. Paul Riley.

Their simple letter — that you can read here — relays the events following Bradshaw’s death and shows the respect and honor that he received. The letter not only speaks to those dealing with the loss of a fallen soldier, but also to those of us who don’t give enough attention. It’s a reminder that while the nation may have forgotten about those overseas, there are still people with families and memories and future goals.

According to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, Operation Enduring Freedom has cost the lives of more than 5,000 American citizens.

The casualty count continues to grow as we continue to forget.

andrea @ July 24, 2009

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