Yesterday there were x number of people killled in Iraq. I read it in the papers and online. What were their names? All of them, not just the Americans, not just the Iraqis. Not just the innocents, or the heroes, or the villians. All of them. What were their names?
I wish there was a web site. I wish that instead of publishing the numbers, the news reporters who tally the dead uploaded the names of those people who died to the site. I wish the site took their names (in both Arabic and English), mixed them all up and published them with the dates of their deaths.
I wish the web site was a wiki, so that people could go and find the names of the people they knew who've died, click their names and add information about them. To add information about their families. To allow them to put up a nice picture of the person from last year. To add the date they were born to the date when they died.
People could describe what they were like. How they fed their families. What their hopes and fears were. All of them. Not just the Americans. Not just the Iraqis. Not just the good people. Not just the bad ones. The names of their towns, their churches, their schools. The sports they played, and their favorite books. Who they hated. Who they loved.
Who were their families? Who were their fathers and mothers? Who were their spouses and friends? Who were their sisters and cousins? Brothers and Uncles? Who were their children? Are they dead too? Are they alive? Do these people think their fallen loved one a hero or a villian? Are they nice people or cruel? Defiant? Mourning? Are they protesters? vigilants? Still pursuing the cause? Did they fight too? Will they fight later? Do they hate the people who killed the person they knew? Do they want revenge? Did the person who died want revenge?
I think publishing the names would be better than publishing the numbers. Then those people who died wouldn't just be numbers anymore, they'd be people again.
Then I could go and read about these people. Read their names, and see where they are from, and who they knew. I could find out about them. I could go and see how many of them I know.
I bet I know all of them.