Wrote up the list of those killed in Iraq this week, and it was painfully long. Included two young women, Eleanor Dlugosz (19) and Joanna Dyer (23), both British, from the Duke of Lancasters Regiment (they have such great sounding troop names), killed along with two men and a civilian interpreter in Basra.
The women's names still stand out to me when I'm typing up the lists, whether right or wrong. What are they doing there, I tend to wonder. One of these young women was a nurse; the other in intelligence. The ages also upset me. I have trouble seeing that teenagers are being killed.
Not that older is better. I didn't like seeing the 42-year-old Naval officer's name on the list this week. Not that there is a good age at which to die in this war, but between 23 and 39 I tend not to notice the age so much.
On the Iraqi side, looking at the news reports of those killed, I was particularly affected by the article reporting "Police discovered the body of an 11-year-old boy with his throat slit in Sab al Bor, north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. A local al Qaeda cell was suspected." And that is the extent of the report. Also can't say I was thrilled to hear "Bodies of six goat-herders were found shot west of Kerbala, 110 km (70 miles) south of Baghdad, police said." What is wrong with people?
The life of every being is a prayer to God. When we speak with love the name of any being, alive or dead to us, that being lives on at the heart of God. Let us speak the names with love.
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