J Walking

I am sitting in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. I’ve just finished an amazing weekend as part of the first class of “Peter Jennings Fellows”. There is much more to say about that in days to come. But this is really the first moment I’ve had to check the news and actually write something for the blog. And as I checked the news I saw that President Bush had given a speech to mark the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion. We all know the problems and casualties in that war.

As I walked around the exhibits here over the weekend I came across a powerful exhibit about the costs of past wars – around 400 in the first Gulf War. About 38,000 in Korea and 59,000 in Vietnam. Then my eyes hit World War 2 – more than 400,000 American soldiers killed. 400,000 – that is a number that would pack 10 major league baseball stadiums. The number is horrifying and convicting on so many levels. Do we really appreciate the sacrifice paid by so many men and women? Do we live with gratitude for this country? Do we have the stomach to fight that kind of war again? In this day and age would we have been picketing for the war to stop and for our sons and daughters to come home?

I don’t have the answer and I don’t know what it means for us in Iraq except perhaps that just up and leaving the country isn’t the answer to any question and certainly isn’t leadership. This is a bit rambling because I am both tired and on brain overload…but there is more here worth meditating on…

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