kept coming up in the daily reports. Five here, fourteen there,
one day after another. And then the growing figure mounting
over a thousand. Peripherally it was ever-present, but still
only an abstraction. It was no longer enough to know how many.
I needed to see pictures of them, to familiarize myself just
a tiny bit more with what was happening far from my warm home.
And it really isn’t much. It too is a mere summary, just
one more step beyond bare numbers.
Yet for me it is something. It means spending time with each
one. It is looking into their eyes to see who is now gone. It
is following the line of their brow and trying to perceive the
expression there. It is a visual and visceral exploration of
these individuals by way of their faces. It is my own eyes and
my hand tracing out some very slight acquaintance with what’s
As an investigation it is little, and it is incomplete. It addresses
only the Americans who have died. Neither the Iraqis nor the
Afghanis are pictured. However, this gap in my own representation
does not symbolize any deliberate or meaningful exclusion. I am sorry for this absence. To see names of Iraqis who have died in the war please refer to iraqbodycount.org.
All of the images and articles I have used in my research have came from the online military journal, Military Times.
- Emily Prince