It’s healthy to consider if the wars were worth it
To the Editor: Like most Americans, I remember the exact moment when the terrible events of September 11 unfolded. What we experienced in those few minutes not only destroyed our long-held belief that we were safe from the world, it shattered our innocence. I can’t help but think about all the deaths from this one day.
Out of the 2,977 innocent lives lost that day, 2,605 were U.S. citizens and 372 were non-U.S. citizens. I still have trouble thinking about the ones who fell to their deaths, the ones who jumped, all to avoid being burnt alive. No doubt September 11 has become another “date which will live in infamy.”
Unfortunately, the steady growth in the number of deaths from September 11 is not unique to this one day. According to the Watson Institute at Brown University, over 7,000 U.S. service members have been killed since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This becomes even more tragic if we add the more than 30,000 service members and veterans who have died from suicide since September 11. And let us not forget our allies, who sacrificed over 177,000 of their sons and daughters to fight this war on terrorism.
As our nation mourns this one day, I can’t help but ask myself, “Did we win the fight against terrorism or not? Should we have done anything different or not?” As citizens of democracy, these questions may not be easy to ask. But neither are the answers.