Seattle Weekly has devoted this week’s entire print edition to honoring the 393 soldiers from Washington state who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past ten years.
“Every inch of edit is devoted,” explained editor-in-chief Mike Seely in an email. “No arts, no music, no food — just war.”
Unlike the online version of Seattle Weekly, today’s print edition contains just one story, 33 pages long. It is the result of an idea back in 2002 to write a few obituaries about local soldiers dying in Afghanistan. Our President told us it would be a quick war, and we figured on doing perhaps a handful of death notices over the next year or so. But it went on, and on, followed by another “quick” war, both of which continue indefinitely. And so today you can pick up SW at the newsstand and for the first time see, in black and white, just how long these wars have lasted–393 obits long . . .
The 393 dead all were based, raised, or had family in Washington. Ages 18 to 53, they left behind 246 children, 169 widows, and four widowers. Some of their deaths, such as football star Pat Tillman’s covered-up shooting by his fellow soldiers, made world headlines. But most were local stories about that kid down the street . . .