Academic journal article Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education

Alcohol-Related Deaths Should Be More Than Just Statistics

Academic journal article Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education

Alcohol-Related Deaths Should Be More Than Just Statistics

Article excerpt

Since last March, a traveling exhibit has been making its way across the nation. It consists of 1,054 pairs of combat boots lined up to represent U.S. soldiers who have been killed in Iraq, most of them after May 1, 2003, when major combat operations were declared over.

Michael McConnell of Chicago, regional director for the American Friends Service Committee, an international Quaker organization, created the exhibit. He said he conceived the exhibit about a year ago because he felt the human face of the war was not being shown to the public. "It's very important that people realize the full cost of the Iraq war," he said. "I didn't want the deaths to become just a statistic."

Unless it involves a friend or relative, for most of us death is little more than a statistic, and that doesn't apply just to lives lost in the Iraq war.

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported earlier this year that alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2003 dropped by three percent from the previous year to 17,013, news reports noted that the figure was still too high.

That is 16 times as many deaths as those who lost their lives in Iraq, but there are no traveling exhibits to remind Americans that this figure should not be regarded merely as a statistic. …

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