We’re up to 104 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2002. Each death is reported and details of the individual’s life are provided. This seems to be the way we do things — in this century, in this country. I have mixed feelings: I’m glad that each person is given the dignity of individual recognition, but deeply saddened at their lives’ early and violent ends. Each time, I think of the family and friends who get the call that they must have feared ever since the soldier was posted to Afghanistan (or maybe ever since the soldier joined up).
Perhaps my empathy gene is overdeveloped: I can cry for days over a news story about the tragedies of strangers.
The CBC website has a list of all the dead with names and links to the stories about the fatal incidents. There are pictures: just head and shoulders, ID-card style. You can scroll down the page and see the names and what part of the country they are from.
The 104 is made up of 103 men and one woman. War is still primarily a man’s world where the role of women is to wait, worry and grieve.