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Memorial Day – Living with War

David Carr writes:

Even as we celebrate generations of American soldiers past, the women and men who are making that sacrifice today in Iraq and Afghanistan receive less attention every day. There’s plenty of blame to go around: battle fatigue at home, failing media resolve and a government intent on controlling information from the battlefield.

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index, coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has slipped to 3 percent of all American print and broadcast news as of last week, falling from 25 percent as recently as last September.

“Ironically, the success of the surge and a reduction in violence has led to a reduction in coverage,” said Mark Jurkowitz of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. “There is evidence that people have made up their minds about this war, and other stories — like the economy and the election — have come along and sucked up all the oxygen.”

But the tactical success of the surge should not be misconstrued as making Iraq a safer place for American soldiers. Last year was the bloodiest in the five-year history of the conflict, with more than 900 dead, and last month, 52 perished, making it the bloodiest month of the year so far. So far in May, 18 have died.

h/t Think Progress: CBS’s Kimberly Dozier reported this morning on the sacrifices being made by war widows at Fort Hood Army base in Texas. Fort Hood has lost more 400 soldiers — nearly 10 percent of the total military deaths since the war began — “leaving behind approximately 200 widows.” One widow told Dozier, “For those who are kind of in their own little world and forget that there’s other people out there making sacrifices, it’s kinda nice to just shake them up a little bit and go ‘hey, appreciate what you have.’”

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