U.S.A. Today has compiled an interactive feature showing each of the 3,982 soldiers who have died in Iraq to date. This somber piece represents an important effort to present the loss at an accessible scale. Each icon lists a soldier’s name, hometown, rank, branch, duty status, date of death, place, and cause. Many feature photos as well, some in graduation gowns, others in camouflage.
A search feature enables visitors to sort the losses by categories including age (33 18-year-olds have died), gender (96 women have died), city (thankfully, no one from my hometown), and more. It’s thought-provoking, and it does a good job of evoking the losses that are easy for most of us to ignore. A similar site for Iraqis who have died would be a nice counterpart, although, sadly, it would have to operate on an entirely different sense of scale.