Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recounting the Civil War Dead, Part 3

The Civil War Dead--what a final-sounding set of words. I was an Army wife at one time, and we lived in the DC area for a few years. I saw a lot of ceremonies, and all the "Unknown Soldier" tombs, and cried at every one.

When DNA testing and identification was developed, the Armed Forces made sure every person deployed gave a sample of a bodily fluid for identification. Since then I have heard many people complain that this is interference in one's personal life. I guess a person is entitled to his or her opinion, but if DNA testing can assure that there will never again be a tomb for Unknown Warriors, then the goal far exceeds any harm done.

In this age of instant communication, it is difficult to imagine kissing someone goodbye, and then not hearing from them ever again, or only infrequently. It has made me sad for years, thinking of the women left behind--mothers, sisters, sweethearts, wives, daughters . . . and now to think there may have been 100,000 more casualties--

I weep again.

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