The number of American servicemen and women killed in Iraq has passed the 2,000 mark, the Associated Press reports.
We owe every single one of them a tremendous debt of gratitude -- their courageous sacrifices are bringing freedom to oppressed people and making our nation and our world safer from terrorism.
What's perhaps most startling to me, though, is not how high the number of deaths is, but how low compared to other conflicts and events.
A few examples:
-- There were roughly 8.5 million soldiers killed in World War I
-- Eighty-four million people were killed in World War II
-- Fourteen hundred American soldiers and sailors were killed in the D-Day
-- In the rehearsal for D-Day, 800 soldiers were killed
-- On Iwo Jima, 6,800 Americans were killed.
-- There were 4,400 American battle deaths in the American Revolution
-- There were close to 500,000 Union and Confederate deaths during the Civil War
-- There were 35,000 servicemember deaths during the Korean War
-- There were 58,000 American deaths during the Vietnam War
These numbers in no way diminish the loss of American servicemen and women in Iraq. But they do illustrate that the cost of freedom is never cheap and is often much more expensive.