Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Iraq War, and as usual it's flying a little below the radar. Last year, the anniversary was overshadowed by Obama's landmark race speech the day before; this year, we're all transfixed by the colossal greed and short-sightedness of AIG. Important events going on over here — but still, for six years, it's been going on over there. And whether the country is looking or not, American soldiers are still dying, in Iraq and in Afghanistan too.
So — what I'm trying to do here today is raise a little awareness, and a little money, too. On the first front, I'm trying to get the word out on Twitter with two hashtags: #iraq6 and #iraqwaranniversary so people can take a moment to remember the war and think about what it means six years later (here's one of my favorite observations: "Things that the Iraq War has been around longer than: Twitter, the iPod Shuffle, Google Maps").
The other thing I'd like to do is use today to raise a glass to the nation's returning war wounded...via a donation to the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation. My fledgling online charity site, Charitini.com, is geared toward allocating your festive congratulatory drinks - for birthdays or what have you - toward the charitable cause of your choice. I wrote about it on HuffPo last December when it launched, and so far we've had great, encouraging results with making a difference through micro-giving. Today seems like good enough reason as any to do it again. For the cost of a beer you'd buy a soldier in thanks for their service you can instead take a moment and donate to a charity that cares for them once they come home. Heck, you can buy 'em a round - just let them know you haven't forgotten that they were the ones who signed up to serve.
Times are tough right now, and the news at home is as distressing and distracting as ever - but that, alas, does not change the fact that there are still soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan risking their lives daily to keep the headlines from getting even worse. Today, on the sixth anniversary of that first shot fired to start the Iraq War, and even longer since the war began in Afghanistan, I hope you can take a moment to remember and honor them, in whatever way you can.
Raise A Glass To An Injured Soldier [Charitini]
Will It Ever End? The Iraq War Turns Six [The Daily Beast]
The Bob Woodruff Foundation: Helping To Heal The Physical and Psychological Wounds of War [Remind.org]
One Year Ago:
In Week Of Iraq War Anniversary, Obama's Race Speech Dominated Media Coverage [ETP]
Follow Rachel Sklar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rachelsklar