Iraq-Afghan War Memorial Runs Out of Room for Names

wiggles

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http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/news/editorial/17181415.htm

Memorial honoring fallen soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan runs out of room

By Frank Davies

San Jose Mercury News

(MCT)

WASHINGTON - Congress already has run out of space on a memorial created last year to honor all of the U.S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a grim sign of the times, the "Wall of the Fallen," set up by House Republican leaders in June, is almost full. The mounting death toll from Iraq has forced U.S. House staffers to study how to reconfigure the display in the lobby of the Rayburn Building - the largest office building for members of Congress - to squeeze in more names.

According to the Defense Department, 3,736 U.S. service members died in the two wars by the end of April. New names are added to the display every few months, but none have been added since November. The last name listed is Lance Cpl. Luke Holler, 21-year-old Marine reservist from Bulverde, Texas, killed by an explosive device on Nov. 2.

In the current format, there is space for about 130 more names, but 506 Americans have died since mid-November. In April, 104 Americans were killed in the war's sixth-deadliest month.

With a fierce debate raging over Iraq in Congress as President Bush resists the Democrats' push for a timetable for troop withdrawal, the wall has taken on symbolic importance to some members.

"It's just another example of how pathetically unprepared and unrealistic the supporters of this war have been," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a San Jose Democrat and member of the Administration Committee that oversees operations in House buildings.

Rep. Vernon Ehlers, the Michigan Republican who chaired the committee last summer, said members and staffers "simply wanted to do something to honor those who had made this sacrifice."

Outside individual offices on Capitol Hill, many members have put the names and photos of war fatalities from their states on posters. But Ehlers wanted something "more fitting, that would include everyone." The Rayburn foyer was chosen because it had a large wall in a busy area.

Ehlers said it was difficult to plan how much blank space to leave in a display listing fatalities while a war is going on. When he walked by the wall recently, Ehlers said he realized: "Boy, we could have a problem. More space is needed."

From a few yards away, the display looks like a marble memorial. It's actually a series of laminated poster-board strips with the embossed names of those killed, listed by year and month. The display is titled "Honoring the Fallen - in solemn tribute to the sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces."

Dan Beard, the House administrative officer recently appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will look at ways to "reformat the wall" to include all names, said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi.

Like Ehlers, Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., walks by the wall often on his way to his office in the Rayburn Building. He said the names of fatalities filling up the display "just tears at everyone's heart."

"This is so sad," Delahunt said. "This states so poignantly and ironically that we never thought about needing extra space. The concept of the wall is laudable, but no one wanted to think about how many more soldiers would die."

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Mace

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People are gona die in war, I don't think this signifies anything much. They probably thought this was gona be a short low-causality war like Gulf 1 when they set it up. Just hafta make it bigger.
 

Dirt McGirt

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People are gona die in war, I don't think this signifies anything much. They probably thought this was gona be a short low-causality war like Gulf 1 when they set it up. Just hafta make it bigger.
You make it seem so simple and trivial.
 

no1tovote4

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You make it seem so simple and trivial.
A memorial is simple. It is what people think of the war that is complicated. We wish to honor our fallen, this one is too small. The answer is to make it bigger.
 

Dirt McGirt

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A memorial is simple. It is what people think of the war that is complicated. We wish to honor our fallen, this one is too small. The answer is to make it bigger.
I guess logically you're both correct. "Just make it bigger" came off as a little too straight forward on a sensitive topic with me. I was expecting more tact but I guess Mace is a straight shooter and I probably got my panties in a bunch. :eusa_shifty:
 
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wiggles

wiggles

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I guess logically you're both correct. "Just make it bigger" came off as a little too straight forward on a sensitive topic with me. I was expecting more tact but I guess Mace is a straight shooter and I probably got my panties in a bunch. :eusa_shifty:
I don't think so. It shows there've been a lot more casualties than were originally expected and it's sad.
 

Diuretic

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It's not that simple either. It's a very difficult political issue.

Make it bigger. How big? Really, really big? Or just a little bit big?

Make another one? How big?

Don't make it bigger, don't make another one?

Solution. Find a very long road, plant a tree for every person who falls.

Not an original idea from me though - http://www.smh.com.au/news/Victoria/Bacchus-Marsh/2005/02/17/1108500206190.html

Avenue of Honour
The main entry to Bacchus Marsh, for those coming from the east, is The Avenue of Honour. With the advent of Dutch Elm disease in Europe it is now regarded as the finest elm avenue in the world. The trees were planted to honour those men and women from the district who had fought and died in World War I. It consists of 281 North American elms. The other elms, oaks and plane trees which line Main St were planted in 1884.
 

Dirt McGirt

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I don't think so. It shows there've been a lot more casualties than were originally expected and it's sad.
I agree but I'm trying to be fair and consistent. Sometimes I'm a straight shooter and don't use tact on certain topics that other people are sensitive with and I'm trying to not look hypocritical. I can't promise not being a hypocrite all the time, but if I can minimize it I'll try. :eusa_angel:
 

no1tovote4

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I don't think so. It shows there've been a lot more casualties than were originally expected and it's sad.
This is the first memorial that I know of that we began before the war was over. The fact is that what to do about a memorial is not arguing what to do about the war. If we wish to honor those fallen we will need to make the memorial larger. Guessing at the size is just a guess. The best design for a memorial when a war is going on would allow us to add to the memorial to make room for those fallen.
 

Mace

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I guess logically you're both correct. "Just make it bigger" came off as a little too straight forward on a sensitive topic with me. I was expecting more tact but I guess Mace is a straight shooter and I probably got my panties in a bunch. :eusa_shifty:
Sorry didn't mean to offend. Just the first thought that came to mind. Another solution would be to wait for the war to end before starting a stone memorial. Then you'll know the exact size you need. I think memorializing the troops who fall in the name of America is a great/important thing. I just don’t think them running out of room on this memorial means much except we’re still at war and people are still dying. It’s the war and how it’s being run itself that really means something in the real world.
 

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