Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Dead and Thousands Gone

In August, Cpl. Juan Alcantara, a native of the Dominican Republic, was killed in action serving in Iraq. He was mourned at St. Elizabeth's Church in Washington Heights, NY, buried at Long Island National Cemetery, and on September 17 granted posthumous citizenship in a ceremony at City College, according to an Associated Press report in Newsday. He left behind a fiance and an infant daughter.

Nothing compensates for his death, but my curiosity about how to put it in context led me to a fine piece by Noam Cohen in the Times and two very interesting Web sites that cover casualties of the Iraq War.

At the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, you will find a detailed accounting of casualties by city, state, and many other tabulations.

At Statemaster, you will find painful and fascinating graphs that depict the total losses by state and the losses per capita. As you'd expect, as one of the larger states, New York has one of the larger totals of deaths: 117 (compared to 255 for California, 222 for Texas, and 122 for Pennsylvania.)

But if you calculate losses on a per capita basis, our losses are comparatively smaller: .608 per 100,000 people, or well below the weighted national average of 1.2 per 100,000. The heaviest losses were to American Samoa: 8.638 per 100,000 people.

However you count it, this is a tragedy.

No comments: