Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

San Francisco National Cemetery, photo by Susiep

From an "iffy" memory, I think it may have been Kurt Vonnegut who said (paraphrasing badly with that same memory), "Our technology exceeds our morality by centuries."

While we're excellent at remembering those whose lives were sacrificed in wars, humanity is an abject failure at remembering their horrors. ~Da

Here then is "a look, by the numbers, at the pace of veterans' burials at national cemeteries:"*

6

Number of new national cemeteries under construction.

7
Average burials per day at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

30
Average burials per day at California's Riverside National Cemetery, the busiest national cemetery.

60
Median age of Vietnam War veterans and all veterans in 2007.

76
Median age of Korean War veterans in 2007.

84
Median age of World War II veterans in 2007.

125
Number of national cemeteries.

1,800
Average number of veterans dying each day.

101,200
Number of interments in national cemeteries in 2007.

686,000
Estimated number of veteran deaths in 2007.

7.9 million
Number of living Vietnam era veterans.

23.8 million
Estimated number of living veterans.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Associated Press





* as published in USA Today

4 comments:

Border Explorer said...

One of my favorite Viet Nam vets here in the Quad Cities looks much worse for the wear after our winter separation. My heart sinks.
Meanwhile, the U.S. war machine churns out more vets every day. Their severe, unmet needs will strangle and kill their families and sicken our nation.
This is an amazing post. Please, never stop posting. Even tho I seldom see you, I miss you, Dada.

dada said...

BE: Thanks for the supportive comments and encouragement. And while the misery cast upon increasing numbers of returning veterans and their families, to say nothing of those who don't return (and their families) was absolutely avoidable and is now so regretted by so many, I like to think they are but the cosmic seeds of justice sewn that we must, and shall, now reap. It is our rightful future. As we have sown in, we shall own it.

I would never wish this upon any people but, given the miseries we have served upon others underserving of it, it is not only fit - and just - it is the proper retribution for the suffering we have projected upon others.

It really pains me, the bitter harvest that is ahead for generations of Americans who had no say in the planting and sewing of these seeds.

(I'm sorry to hear of your friend, the Vietnam vet, who is wearing badly. He is a brother. And while some of us may never have gone there, pointed a gun, or pulled a trigger, all who served - regardless of where - during that era - are complicit.)

Oh, and BTW, just knowing you and Mr. BE aren't just 'down the road' impoverishes us here, still just up the road.

dada said...

BE: I apologize for sounding like a preacher in previous comment. I made it after reading the umpteenth article about the Bush admin's determination to go to war against Iran before they depart office.

And that's the 'umpteenth' article in just the past coupe of weeks! This has been going on for months, no years, now and no one, but no one, seems capable of stopping this insanity but, oh my, we've gotten sooo very, very good about bitching against the madmen. It drives me insane - sorry.

I am very, very tired of hollering. Apathetic America deserves what it gets. Sadly, the rest of the world doesn't. Sorry. And I apologize for sounding like a preacher last time.

Fran said...

I have such respect & sorrow for those who lost their lives,, and those who did not but suffer.
I also have angst for the gvmnt that put them in harms way- especially this regime conducting the illegal occupation.