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Why is there no national mourning for those who die serving our freedom?

By Remy Benoit

I was called in to see a segment on CBS Sunday Morning. It was a video made by an aunt about her 24-year-old nephew, Brian Bradshaw, who died in Afghanistan on June 25, killed by an IED. Martha Gillis: A Life Lost Out of the Spotlight While a Nation and World Paid Tribute to a Passing Singer, a Small Town Mourned a Young Soldier Killed in Afghanistan.

Ms. Gillis was right to question why we do not mourn those who lives are taken each and every day; why we are not there for whose lives are shattered by spinal injuries, by TBI, by PTSD.

Perhaps they are too "remote" from us if they are not one of our nuclear family. Yet we also have a huge national family that should be there to mourn, to sit with families who suffer loses; to help soldiers returning with life altering injuries—at physical, spiritual, mental, and soul level.

Too remote? Let us bring them onto your screen, keeping in mind that each and every one of these soldiers was an individual with a family, with dreams, with a life cut short.

From CNN Forces: U.S. & Coalition Casualties.

Do you dare to look at their faces and know that you have done nothing to help them, their families, their brothers and sisters in arms? Perhaps it is time to get off the couch. Here is a good place to start doing something. National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Here is another place to use your voice for a rational foreign policy, for care for our Veterans. Demand openness in governmental decisions—they impact on our national family, and just maybe on your nuclear one. White House.

Remind Secretary Shinseki Veterans Administration. that you are here demanding that what needs to be done for our Veterans must be done—that is the first Order of the Day!


There is no question that our country has been blinded by such neglect that we are no longer the empathetic nation we should be. The fact that hardly any kind of connection to the soldiers who have died was the result of a total misuse of the media in its overloaded Michael Jackson material which was so inappropriate that I had to turn off the TV for almost two weeks. We definitely need to bring back the nation's attitudes to a better reality and reach out to the families of those soldiers who have fought and died for our nation's honor and survival.

Posted by: Al Beck, at 2009-07-12 19:51:44

This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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