Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

Memorial Day: Counting Casualties of War



Memorial Day: Counting Casualties of War

Civilians, the general populace are the punctuation marks on the pages describing historical conflicts.  These same pages chronologically annotate the activities of heroes, villains, rulers, warriors, and technocrats.  Military casualties are words read aloud ---- revered, memorialized. Whereas civilian casualties like commas and periods are silent though essential parts of contextual commentary.

Recently the number of USA Civil War military deaths was raised by demographers from 620,000 to 750,000 ---- some historians believe that total should be 200,000 more.  The civilian toll was not mentioned although further research disclosed it could be several hundred thousand.  Rather than inserting a table at this juncture, I implore you to do the research instead of sending me the three and four letter acronym laced sentence replies.  Pick a War, any War ---- I'll start with World War II to give you a nudge. The civilian casualties most associated with the last honorable war, WW2 are the Jewish Holocaust figure exceeding six million.  What makes this total so appalling, though by no means intending to minify, is these horrific genetic experiments were a reprise of the holocaustic 1890 AD misdeeds by Germany in Africa as the World belatedly reacted again.  There were 25 million Russian civilian casualties in World War II.   Prominent historians believe this figure could be as high as 40 - 50 million.  Russia was the only major country with a population decrease in the decadal census as an inimical invasion by Nazi Germany eschewed a nonaggression treaty.

Gone are the days of combat areas and jousting fields to decide conflicts.  One arrow, one kill has faded into obscurity as well.  Drones, long range missiles, saturation bombings, high psychological impact targets are the bills of fare with civilians bearing the brunt of casualties, famine, and destruction of lifestyle.

The victors fire weapons into the air in celebration while collateral damage victims wearing aprons, carrying work implements and hugging toys lay in ruins, doorways, sidewalks and ditches. There are parades and memorials at the cessation of hostilities for the military.  Civilians stare aimlessly at faded photographs and cry upon empty pillows.


There should be a holiday and an organization for civilian victims.  January 1 would suffice ---- and hope that the rest of the year does not increase the carnage.


Peace . . . ..

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