The war on terror reached a critical milestone this year with the daring commando raid that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. America and, indeed, much of the world cheered.
But thousands of U.S. servicemen and women have given their lives along the way, and those costs have continued even as combat operations in Iraq wind down and the “surge” in Afghanistan wanes.
Today, as Americans honor those sacrifices, we in the Inland Northwest pause to remember our sons and daughters who will never return. This year, we add two more to the list.
Marine Cpl. Joshua R. Dumaw, 23, of Spokane Valley, died June 22, 2010, in Delaram, Afghanistan. A West Valley High School graduate, he was serving as a military police officer supporting combat operations in the Nimruz province when he was killed by an improvised explosive device.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Clifford E. Beattie, 37, of Medical Lake, died May 22 in Baghdad, where he was serving his third combat tour in Iraq. A 1992 graduate of Medical Lake High School, he also was killed by an improvised explosive device.
They are among the nearly 4,800 U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq since 2003 and nearly 1,600 U.S. combat fatalities in Afghanistan since 2001.
Remember them and their sacrifices, not just today but throughout the year.