A Nice Round Number by John Cory

A U.S. Marine carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Marine Cpl. Kurt S. Shea of Frederick, Md., upon his arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. The Department of Defense announced the death of Cpl. Shea, who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

1,000. A nice round number.

1,000. Doesn’t even need a decimal point.

One thousand is just a number.

But what’s in a number?

“A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy In The White House” by Arthur M. Schlesinger.

“Anne of The Thousand Days” by Maxwell Anderson.

One thousand is the number of words a picture is worth.

Yesterday 1,000 was a milestone – the number of US troops KIA in Afghanistan.

Whatever happened to the Six-Day War? Whatever happened to the Seven-Day War? Or even the 100-hour war of Desert Storm? Remember that one? It was live on television.

I guess like the TV Series “24,” a day can last more than just a day so a war has lots of room to grow and expand without worry of a mid-season replacement by peace.

How many Afghans have died or been killed by hi-tech “smart” weaponry? Is it 1,000? More? How many Iraqis? Is anyone counting? Does anyone care?

What is the factor we multiply 1,000 by in order to know how many families, spouses, loved ones grieve and wish they had never opened the door to those two men in uniform or answered that phone?

What is the factor we multiply 1,000 by in order to know how many wounded and maimed must find new ways to live, to survive, to put it all behind them?

And what is the factor we use to multiply 1,000 by for the future lives that will wander America, lost and angry, asking anyone who will listen: What was it all for?

1,000 is a round number but before the end of the day or by tomorrow it will become an uneven number, a jagged number without symmetry and no longer worth noting until the next metric-defined milestone.

1,000 – a number that ends in sadness and death and tragedy.

War – one is too many and a thousand is never enough.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many JPEGS will it take to be able to utter three words?

Bring Them Home.

War Is Over.

Go In Peace.


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2010-05-19T16:16:45+00:00 May 19th, 2010|Imagine All The People|