Each year, in the United States, approximately 40,000 people are killed on American roads. Over the last few years, approximately 40,000 people have been killed in Drug Cartel crimes in Mexico. Recent Tornado's killed approximately 140 in the American South. The final count on deaths from Tsunamis in Japan and previously Thailand will never be known for certain, but thousands and more than a 100,000 are conservative estimates. Thousands of Afghan civilians and Thousands of Iraqi civilians are killed by terrorists every year.
Yet, the MSM doesn't publish the daily body counts in the Mexican Drug War, those of Iraqi based terrorists, Palestinian based terrorists, Afghanistan based terrorists, Pakistan based terrorists, civilian suicides, or those killed on American roadways, not even those killed by drug-crazed or drunken drivers. They do give the daily body count of any American Servicemember remotely connected to Afghanistan (and used to do so on those remotely connected to Iraq). Conversely, they'll use hours of broadcast time to tell the life stories of journalists that are killed in a combat zone, even if due to their own decisions to be in places of known extreme risk, as if the journalist were a saint.
War On Terror News does not report Fallen Soldiers as mere numbers, but by name. Conversely, we also don't report on numbers or names of civilians killed by cars, or suicide. This bears the question: Is a Soldier's Death more important than a Civilian's?
No, it is not more important, but the way a man or woman lives is different. No one can or should rejoice that someone has died. No one is immune from bereavement when a loved one dies. If a loved one is killed in a car accident, a tsunami, old age, or war, it leaves a hole in the lives of all that truly knew them. The families of the fallen are not immune from that, and neither is the grandson of a 90 year old woman. But it is easier for our minds to justify the loss of someone to old age than for a mother to adjust to the loss of a child.
When gunfire erupts, civilians run from it, and Soldiers run towards it, and that is the way it should be. But their is gallantry in rushing into danger to protect the lives of those that can't, won't, or don't. So when the Soldier's life is taken, it is not that he is more important in death, than is the civilian he protected, but there is a particular Honor in how he lived. A debt of gratitude is owed him, and more importantly his family, for how he lived, for the fact that he put his life between the protected and danger, from those he protected.
I have run across some that have said: "The Soldier is just doing the job he was paid to do." And it is true, he did in fact sign up for that job, knowing we are at war, knowing the risks of it. For that reason, it is wrong to then claim to "speak for him," by claiming the mission he voluntarily accepted, should be terminated, in his number. And I say number, rather than name, because those that wish to undermine the mission he took, most often reduce the Fallen to numbers, speaking only of their deaths, not of his life.
But that is precisely for that reason that he should be Honored; he risked his life, for a smaller salary than the guy that delivers your mail or carries away the junk mail you throw away.
The death of a child is far more tragic than the death of a Soldier, for only children are truly innocent. But the life of a Soldier is important, and should be Honored by those he protected, not just those who served with him, not just his family and loved ones. His Mother and Father should be thanked for raising a man who was willing to risk all and sacrifice much, to save the lives of strangers he'll never meet, for understanding that some things are worth risking death for. His Brother and Sister should be comforted for the hole left in their lives. His wife should be consoled, for the loss in her life, for the man she shared with the Nation, to protect Our Citizens.
No, the death of a Soldier is not more important than the death of a civilian, but the Protected should demonstrate Gratitude for the Sacrifices made to allow them the worry free life of malls, movies, and music.
And the Soldier should be envied "For he knows the true cost of freedom that the protected will never know."