Almost every photograph of people in military uniforms on the Yahoo News page is in response to the person’s death. I was saddened by this when I first noticed the trend in 2003, and I haven’t gotten used to it yet. I’m sure I never will. The photos always show proud young people having finished a grueling training, and now they’re dead. I’m not suggesting that Yahoo needs to start running more pictures of living military people. I just want them to stop dying.
My dad was serving in Vietnam the day I was born, and I’m glad to say that he’s still with us today. I wish every military child could say the same. And I wish they could be with their parents. And I wish that all military people could have children. I wish they’d stop dying so young. It’s all so unnecessary.
It honestly hurts me inside to see these pictures. I’m not looking for them, but there they are. If everyone could feel that pain, the world would be a better place. Unfortunately, too many people only feel that when it directly affects their own group. They forget that everyone is in a group; everyone has someone. Even if they don’t know them. We all have each other.
I feel cheap and petty even writing these words. This isn’t what I intended to write. But I saw yet another of these pictures tonight and had to say something. The picture’s gone now, but I’ll never forget it. And there will be yet another tomorrow. Life is important. Too many people forget. Every life is important.