As of today, October 25, 2006, the number of American Armed Forces personnel killed in the
These numbers mean nothing by themselves. The numbing and stunning death of so many on that one day, and the death of the firefighters who tried to save them, stands as a single terrible event. The slow agonizing trickle of news of deaths in
The Administration argues that being at war in
Each week that I can I stand with a group of folk here in Lewes, remembering the human costs of war. The Silent Vigil is just that, silent. We hold signs with the numbers who have died, now at 2,804, those who are wounded, 20,687, the number of non mortal casualties, now at 44,779, and the number of Iraqi dead – conservatively at 49,610. And now some of us hold signs that tell of the other human cost – the money spent in this war that is not available for other work of value.
The numbers are each of some mother’s son, some mother’s daughter, some relation to someone; each remembered, God willing, by another who wonders why.
Numbers are only a mnemonic device, a way of remembering, that the human costs continue and grow and that in the end there are more grieving persons gathering and still no sign of light and life.
Light and life is what faith is about, not Articles or purity of belief, and surely our faith cannot be in the war dead whose numbers keep rising. We must look elsewhere and find other numbers, the numbers of people who will struggle for another Way.
No one will much care that there are 2 million Episcopalians in the US, or 17 million Anglicans in Nigeria, but they might care if there are here, and here, and there, even a few voices that say “No” to the ways of death which is war, and “Yes” to the ways of life, which is peace.
Maybe that is the Way we ought to go.