Letter - Iraq death toll exceeds 4,000

To the editor:

"One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." Joseph Stalin said it. The death toll of U.S. troops in the Iraq war now exceeds 4,000 men and women.

Americans once called it Decoration Day and set it aside to decorate the graves of those who had fallen in service to our country. Now Memorial Day is just a day off for most of us.

In May 2004, I sent a letter to the editor of the Rockdale Citizen quoting a poem.

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place, and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields."

If one death is a tragedy, more than 4,000 are unacceptable. Remember these men and women this Memorial Day. Then let's make an end to the killing in Iraq so that these heroes' deaths don't become a statistic.

Milt Longbottom