Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Find the Cost of Freedom

One of the most powerful and haunting songs by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is "Find the Cost of Freedom." It's sung acapella; the first time in unision, the second time in soaring CSNY harmony. The lyric is simple:

Find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down.

We've seen the stickers and t-shirts that read, "Freedom Isn't Free." But what does it cost? Dr. Phil O'Connor, writing at TCS Daily, tells us that from the first shot at Lexington on 1775 up to that sunny September morning in 2001, the average daily military fatality rate was 14.6. This figure of course includes the horrific tolls from the Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.

From the Revolution through the War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish-American war, the rate was about 11 per day.

The rate during the Cold War - from the end of WW2 to the collapse of the USSR - was 6.6 military deaths per day. This includes Korea and Vietnam.

Since 9/11, the average military daily fatality rate has been 1.7.

Freedom isn't free. It never has been, and it never will be. But it's been getting steadily less expensive. Are we still willing to pay the price?

ht: Instapundit

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