Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

They Have Names

Thanks to my mom for sharing the link to “They Have Names,” a website dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have given their lives in the service of the United States and both need and deserve to be remembered not as simply “another statistic” in our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as the unique and special people they were to their family and friends. This is exactly the type of website I felt (and still feel) we need when I wrote the July 4th post, “Faces of the Fallen.” According to the website’s about page:

They Have Names is dedicated to giving proper respects to our fallen heroes. Our goal is to raise awareness about my fallen brothers and sisters. All too often, these Troops are relegated to mere numbers by the press. Their stories are unknown. Their lives are unkown. And their names are unknown. Their sacrifice is impersonal and taken for granted. To many Americans, they are faceless figures. They are not enigmas – They Have Names.

At the time of this writing, over 3000 troops have been killed in Iraq alone. Each and every one of them has unique talents, hobbies, families, and histories. Each of them had a reason that led them to serve in one of our nation’s armed forces. These people are not mere numbers – They Have Names.

I have added a linked graphic to the website “They Have Names” in the right sidebar of my blog, and encourage you to do the same. I encourage you to read through the well written tributes about the servicemen and servicewomen already on the site, and share this with other people you know. Whether others are for, against, or neutral with respect to our ongoing wars in the middle and far east, we should be able to come together in remembering the lives and sacrifices of those who have died in the service of our nation. In remembering these brave men and women, we not only pay tribute to them and their sacrifices, but we also can better perceive and understand the human cost of these conflicts and the loss which our nation has and continues to sustain as a result of current U.S. foreign policies.

When Immanuel Kant wrote “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” in 1795, he assumed that as nations continued to evolve, develop and mature, the high human cost of armed conflict would increasingly become widely evident and clearly understood by electorates who voted policymakers into and out of office. Websites like “They Have Names” are important for many reasons, and one is that they provide a tangible way for “we the people” to personally understand and comprehend the high costs of warfare.

Many thanks to C.J. and Sue for their work to date on the site “They Have Names.” Theirs is EXTREMELY important work. For more background on the site, read C.J’s blog post from July 6th, “They All Have Names.”

In addition to encouraging others to read and share the stories included on the site, ask if others in your local community are willing to write and contribute to the site and its mission.

They Have Names

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3 responses to “They Have Names”

  1. Bill Fitzgerald Avatar

    Hello, Wes,

    You’ve probably seen this already, but this post (and the comment thread) is worth reading:

    Note: only read the post if you don’t want to get much done for the rest of the day. It’s not light reading.


  2. Jenny Luca Avatar

    Hi Wes,
    Thanks for this post. I visited the site and was very moved by the stories there. This is an important site that our students should be aware of. I teach in Australia but I can tell you that our students share your concern about the loss of life suffered by all people in this region of the world.


  3. CJ Avatar

    Thank you for helping to spread the word about They Have Names. It is truly a labor of love for me. I just wish I could write faster. I’m still an active duty Army Soldier, so you can imagine I still keep quite busy. However, I’m dedicated to this project and won’t stop until I’m forced to by death, arthritis, or the list is exhausted. Thanks again for your wonderful words about something very near and dear to me.