The enormous cost of attempting to maintain control in Iraq was brought painfully home to Ohio this week, with the state suffering its heaviest toll for a week-long period since the war began.
Coming days will see military funerals for the nation's latest soldiers who were called upon to make the greatest sacrifice. They will receive the appropriate honors. Their families will be given American flags with the thanks of a grateful nation. In years to come, memorials will be built and their names will be etched in stone or cast in bronze, as have those of so many who have gone before them.
Already, residents of the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park have created a makeshift memorial, placing red roses, white crosses and American flags outside the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment's armory. Fourteen Marine reservists from the battalion were killed Wednesday by a roadside bomb, two days after five others from the battalion were killed while on sniper duty.
Their names will be among more than 40 members of the battalion who have been killed since being deployed in January.
A mounting toll
Those 40 Ohio families join almost 1,800 others from across the nation who have lost sons and daughters in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is times such as these that should remind every Ohioan, every American, that enormous sacrifices are being made by soldiers, sailors and Marines in the Middle East and by their families.
But still, while the war has left an indelible mark on tens of thousands of families, the vast majority of Americans are living their lives as if nothing extraordinary is happening. We are being called upon to make no sacrifices, not the sacrifice of paying for the war -- its cost having been shifted onto future generations to pay.
Every American should be thinking about the fairness and the wisdom of the lopsided nature of the sacrifices this war is requiring of the American people.
This week, especially, it is a question for Ohioans to ponder as the shattered bodies of so many of its native sons are returned to their families.