Memorial Day

Bush says we'll never forget; the chairman of the joint chiefs already has.

Published May 29, 2007 1:46PM (EDT)

Eight more U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq Monday, making May the deadliest month of 2007 so far and bringing the total U.S. death toll for the war to 3,464.

At Arlington National Cemetery Monday, the president marked Memorial Day by telling families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan: "Your country thanks you, and we embrace you, and we will never forget the terrible loss you have suffered."

In a television interview, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Peter Pace did some forgetting to suggest that the death toll from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been something of a bargain. "When you take a look at the life of a nation and all that's required to keep us free, we had more than 3,000 Americans murdered on 11 September 2001," he said. "The number who have died, sacrificed themselves since that time, is approaching that number."

Pace was wrong on both counts: The U.S. death toll from 9/11 was fewer than, not more than, 3,000, and the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 isn't just "approaching" that number; it exceeds it by more than 800 souls.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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