That’s how many names are inscribed on the Vietnam memorial. The first name is recorded under 1959. The last, 1975.
58,276 names. Sixteen years.
The first diagnosed U.S. death from the coronavirus is now dated to February 6. Since then, 54,171 have followed.
54,172 deaths. Eighty days.
We were born the year of that first Vietnam death. We got our drivers license the year the choppers evacuated the Saigon embassy. Vietnam was the America we knew growing up, the hubris of it, the divisions from it.
The Wall itself is an artifact of those divisions. Maya Lin’s design was attacked for not being heroic, a gash in the Earth instead of a majestic monument. Even after it was approved and built, pressure continued for something proud, so they commissioned a statue of three soldiers.
Nobody talks about the statues. Everybody talks about seeing names etched in the sky, as reflected in the black granite. The design turned out not to be the political statement opponents made it to be. It was the experience the designer intended.
The Vietnam war was a failure of the American government. The deaths were unnecessary. The lives were wasted. The divisions remain with us today.
But it took sixteen years to play out. We remember a map of Vietnam on our babysitter’s wall, with pins showing the locations of her son the Army cook. We remember the nightly news, the weekly death tolls.
The deadliest week for American soldiers was during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Over just seven days in February, 543 were killed.
3,179 Americans died of Covid-19 just last Friday. The attack on Pearl Harbor, the day that would live in infamy, killed 2,403. The 9/11 attacks killed 2,996.
It’s almost impossible to take in the scale of what’s happening right now — not just the numbers, but the compression of them, so many so quickly. Someone suggested a football stadium 15,000 deaths ago, but that didn’t capture the horror for us.
And then we thought of Vietnam, the numbers, the government, the consequences — and the time everybody had to take it all in. That’s the scale. That’s the comparison.
At least today.
Because the next benchmark is Nagasaki. And after that, Hiroshima. And we’re already more than a third of the way there.
Hey Hey DJT, how many people did you kill today?
America’s trickle down eCONomics
People living paycheck to paycheck <
Landlords living month to month <
Banks/corporations living bailout to bailout <
US government living war to war.
And there it is: 58,412.
A wonderful profile of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s PM. Truly a portrait of the intelligent, courageous leadership that we all need right now.
Re: Biden allegation
Meh, I’d rather hear more about dear Liz Warren and the hunky, twenty-something Marine that she used and abused like a favorite sex toy. “Dear Senate Forum, you’ll never believe this…”
OMFG – I just realized that the prophecy from Demolition Man is coming true: in the future all restaurants will be Taco Bell!!!
The giant corporations currently using the US Treasury as their business checking accounts may be the only ones that make it. Holy shit. That’s some serious Continuum-style dystopia.
One week later: 67,067. Thirteen thousand more.
¡ANDREW! • Other Useful Exposure Notifications @nojo: Apparently they have cliff divers to entertain patrons while they enjoy their meals. Mr. A!…
NOJO • Other Useful Exposure Notifications @¡Andrew!: So that’s not the waterpark? Been here eight years, still get my landmarks confused.
¡ANDREW! • Other Useful Exposure Notifications I saw that Casa Bonita is reopening in Denver OMGOMGOMG!! Y'all are so lucky--it'll be mass…
¡ANDREW! • Other Useful Exposure Notifications America Is An Out-Of-Touch Gerontocracy, And I’m Glad I Don’t Live There "These has-been…
¡ANDREW! • Other Useful Exposure Notifications Can we get a proof of life from Merrique "let them eat endless investigations" Garlandtoinette?…
MANCHUCANDIDATE • Bye! And the drips keep on coming. With each lame denial comes another revelation about Justice Ruckus.
MANCHUCANDIDATE • Bye! @¡Andrew!: Before we found about why Thomas goes as the Crow flies (in a private jet.)
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NOJO • Bye! @¡Andrew!: From what I’m seeing in bits and pieces, yeah, Licht. CNN under Zucker was bad…
¡ANDREW! • Bye! @nojo: When life gives you Lemons (shrug). Not particularly sad, since: 1. Who still watches…