Sunday, May 24, 2009

Map the Fallen launched!

For the past two years I've been working on the Google Earth Outreach team, aimed at helping non-profits and public benefit groups use Google Earth and Google Maps to further their cause. In that time I've worked on so many cool projects, from training indigenous communities in Brazil on the use of internet and mapping technologies, to helping with Google's disaster response mapping efforts for the San Diego fires and Cyclone Nargis, to even working with NASA to get a copy of Google Earth on the International Space Station (more on that later!). I'm also in charge of the Global Awareness layers in Google Earth and helped develop and polish many of those projects, including Crisis in Darfur and Appalachian Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining.

This Memorial Day I would like to share with you a personal project of mine that uses Google Earth to honor the more than 5,700 American and Coalition servicemen and women that have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories—you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial websites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died.

This work first began while I was a graduate student in Environmental Science at U.C. Riverside. While teaching myself how to use Google Earth for a research project visualizing sensor networks, I came across the website. Immediately drawn into the stories of the members of the military that had died up to October 2005, I decided to try mapping each of their hometowns. I posted my U.S. & Coalition Casualties map to the Google Earth Community. Fast-forward to 2007: my thesis work on visualizing sensor networks in Google Earth and my personal mapping projects landed me a job at Google.

Google Earth has come a long way since late 2005 when I first started using it: a few of these improvements include time animation, "regionation" for efficiently displaying thousands of points on the map, and Touring, which enables you to record your flightpath and narration to guide your audience through your content. I'm sure many of you have heard of Google's 20% time program, where engineers can work the equivalent of a day a week on a project of their choosing. I decided last year that it was time to revisit my casualties mapping project, and have since spent some of my 20% time (as well as a healthy dose my own personal time) rebuilding the map to use these new features.

For this project I collected information from a number of sources, including the Department of Defense's Statistical Information Analysis Division,,'s Honor the Fallen, Washington Post's Faces of the Fallen, the Iraq and Afghanistan Pages, and I used the Google Maps and geocoding services to get coordinates for each person's home of record and approximate place of death. The map includes data through March 2009. I'd like to point out the incredible time commitment the above organizations invest in maintaining this information; as I've learned, it is not an easy task. All of the data I have assembled and generated for this project will be made freely available for download in the near future.

During this project, I have sought the advice and perspectives of several groups directly tied to these losses, including Gold Star families, veterans' groups, active-duty servicemen and women, and leadership in the United States Army. I've done my best to incorporate their feedback and suggestions in creating something that pays tribute to the memory and service of these fallen heroes. Out of respect for the families of those people on this map who have taken their own lives, I have chosen to describe these deaths as coming from "non-combat" related causes. This is a broad category used by the Department of Defense to define other causes of death resulting from accidents or illness.

I recognize that this map is just a slice of the story in these conflicts. The Iraqi and Afghan people have incurred substantial civilian losses through these wars; there are also U.S. and Coalition civilians, contractors, and reporters who have died as well. For this project, I've chosen to focus on the U.S. and Coalition military casualties, but I recognize that the losses extend beyond what is mapped in this project. I also understand that there could be inaccuracies in this layer, and I'll be adding a method for submitting corrections very shortly.

So please take a look at this map, and explore the stories of heroism and sacrifice made across this nation and across the world. Although this map only shows the hometowns and places of death for these soldiers, it's important to remember that each of these servicemen and women have a rich story in between, which leads me to something a Gold Star mom recently shared with me:

"There'll be two dates on your tombstone
And all your friends will read 'em
But all that's gonna matter is that little dash between 'em..."

Sean Askay


Anonymous said...

It appears that no casualties from Mexico appear on the map. It is my understanding that, as of 2005, Tijuana, Mexico had become the U.S. Army's top recruitment site. Conservative estimates placed 37,000 non-citizens in military service in Iraq by 2005, a figure that is much higher today. This is part of the U.S. offering a fast-track to citizenship for those who survive military service. Are these soldiers represented on this map by dots within the borders of the U.S. or are they not represented here? Thank you.

Unknown said...

Impressive, moving. Thank you Google.

adagent said...

sadly eventhough i have the most current version of google earth installed a few seconds after doing the download the entire app crashes and shuts down. i've tried twice with the same results.

Anonymous said...

nice job - a very nice tribute to 5,700 special people. congratulations on a great memorial

Anonymous said...

Like @adagent this KML file crashes Google Earth on Mac OS X shortly after the number of deaths overlay appears in the upper left of the map view. Installed version:

Google Earth
5.0.11337.1968 (beta)

Mac OS X 10.5.7

Safari Version 4 Public Beta (5528.17)

Anonymous said...

This cannot be complete. When I open it, there are only two people listed for Idaho. I know of someone that I cannot find on here.

Ridor said...

Blah blah blah blah -- you talk too much. I just got on Google Earth and looked for this program. I could not find it.

Now, I'm asking you ... to clearly explain where it is so that I can retrieve or set up the program on Google Earth.

Otherwise, don't talk too much!

Sigh, what a waste of my time.


Anonymous said...

Mine is also crashing when it's nearly finished loading. I have the most current version of Google Earth and I am using Windows XP. "Google earth has encountered a problem and needs to close". There is a 'view technical information' button but the entire client crashes before I have time to click it.

Anonymous said...

This is the first thing I've seen since I logged on for the first time today.

Speechless is the first word that comes to mind. Wonderful public service project are some other superlatives that leap into my brain.

In a time of downsizing and outsourcing it is reassuring to note that there are still empathetic people who live to serve and who, by serving, serve the living. Plus this wonderful map also serves and honors those who have paid the ultimate price for each of us.

Thank you Google, CNN and Kevin Welch,


Flailing Wildly said...

Thank you for doing this. The others who are getting pissy don't deserve a response. I think everything that Ridor does is a waste of her time.

Liz Jacobson, West Palm Beach, FL, died near Camp Bucca, Sept 28, 2005, along with Steve Morin. The thread currently has her passing east of Baghdad.

Anonymous said...

@Stephen. Your statement about foreign citizen recruitment intrigued me, and appears to be incorrect. Only those potential recruits who are already US Legal Permanent Residents or Naturalized Citizens are eligible to be recruited into the US Armed Forces. And there are approximately 35,000 such people serving in ALL of the armed forces worldwide (representing about 1-2% of the total) , not in Iraq specifically. I honor the service of those who have chosen to defend their adopted country, a practice that has been in place since the Revolutionary war.

Naturalized citizens and LPR's from Mexico, the Philippines, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador currently being the top five countries of origin of these service members.

There is no 'recruitment' in Tijuana, MX or in any foreign country. This would be illegal.

I found this document very informative on the subject and others are only a quick google search away.

I am always moved by the naturalization ceremonies for non-citizens who chose to serve in the armed forces. A fast track to citizenship is the least we can do to honor their service.

I would imagine that this map would indicate the home town as registered as their legal permanent address in the United States. Perhaps the author can confirm that.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps you might want to click on the link in the big 'Download Map' section in the upper right corner of this page? Pretty difficult huh?

Wanda Michael said...

Reading the stories about the lives of those who we lost in Afghanistan and Iraq, sent chills down my spine. All the beautiful faces of the men and women who sacrifice themselves for a greater cause and more importantly their commitment to defend, protect and serve our country are heroic. I hope and pray that we never forget the price of freedom not only for all Americans, but also for those on foreign soil who wish to be free from tyranny, inequality, and injustice. Let us remember there are more things we have in common than those that separate us. I pray that God will truly bless America again for its efforts of helping others to be and live in freedom and the responsibility that comes with having such freedoms.

Unknown said...

Mac users, a new version of Google Earth is available that works with this file.

TJDIV said...

Thank you. You didn't do this because you "had" to. Good work.

Becky said...

This is beautiful. Thank you!

Rob Dougherty said...

Thanks for doing this. That's a tremendous amount of work you've put in there.

@Rydor - Perhaps not sounding out all of the words while you read would help? It's fairly simple English to read: "I posted my U.S. & Coalition Casualties map to the Google Earth Community" and follow a common-sense link, wouldn't you think? Be less of an ass.

CorvusCorax12 said...

thank you so much for your hard work Son was one of the fallen (Canadian)

Peter Birch said...

For Mac users, make sure you have the very latest version of Google Earth 5. Select "About Google Earth" under the "Google Earth" menu and make sure you have version 5.0.11733.9347. If you have 5.0.11337.1968, you should go to and download the newer version. Seems like the older version crashes.

Anonymous said...

FYI. Upgrading to the following version of Google Earth on OS X resolved my crashing problem with your .kml file:

Google Earth

Anonymous said...

God Bless you for your inventive way of honoring those who gave the "Ultimate measure of devotion" to our country!

Shiraz said...

It appears that no causalities from Pakistan appear on this map. Many Pakistani soldiers and officers have died in war against extremist.

Please consider putting that information on that map as well.

If you need help in getting this information, please let me know.

Blair Matthews said...

What about the million or so Iraqis that have died?

kapnasty said...

Thank you so much. I was able to find some friends that died in Fallujah, and it was very emotional to remember them. Thanks for this.

Kim said...

Thank you for creating a visual representation of how costly this war has been.

Never forget. Forever remember.

Unknown said...

Thank you for all of hard your work, I hope that your work will continue to help us remember the names and the faces all of the women and men we've lost!

Unknown said...

thanks Google this is a great way to pay tribute to our heroes thanks

Jenn said...

Thanks, Google. What a wonderful idea to help us commemorate our fallen heroes.

Anonymous said...

My comment was not to be "pissy" as Scott so nicely put it. My cousin died in Iraq last year, and I was trying to find him in Boise, Idaho - where he is from. When I open it, there are only two there. Maybe mine isn't loading right, but I just wanted to let the creator of this program know about the bug.

ZweiHighScott said...

All I can say is Wow, Thank you for keeping us from forgetting, slapping us in the face to wake up and look! Very moving! Thanks Sean!

artdecogecko said...

What a thoughtful, special way to recognize our fallen troops. Thank you for taking the time spread awareness of so many lives lost in the name of our freedoms.

Sean said...

Hi bob51282,

Using the word hometown might be a little deceiving... the information I got from the Dept. of Defense is actually the "home of record", which the place a person joined the service. You might look for your cousin by last name, using the alphabetical list at the bottom an any soldier's balloon. He might have a different city as his "home of record"

That said, I would like to provide a way for people to make corrections to the information. I'm hoping to get some volunteers to help with this, as receiving a several hundred or even a thousand corrections is more work that I can do alone (considering that information should be verified with the submitter).

So please take a look for your cousin by last name, and if you don't find him, come back soon when I get a corrections page working.


Marcia Banta said...

Thank you so much...grateful, sad, disheartened, awed.

colbertforfcc said...

Memorials for Veterans

JV Esh said...

Thank you.

Unknown said...

your map download link is broken

Anonymous said...

Sean. I figured out what I did wrong. I'm an idiot and didn't realize that I didn't have the most up-to-date version of google earth. Thanks.

Sean said...

Hi Josh H.,

The download links appear to be working ok for me.

Are you on Windows or Mac? I've noticed some funny behavior with downloading KMZ files on a Mac from Amazon S3. Wondering if this is your issues...


Unknown said...

Sean, CNN & Google,

Stupendous. Revolutionary. The USA owes you a debt of gratitude for your dedication and selflessness which cannot be repaid in this lifetime. Maya Lin created the "Living Vietnam Wall" for my fellow Vietnam Vets and now you have created the "Technogical Wall" for yours.
For those of us who have witnessed too many battlefield deaths, thanks for a living monument that memoralizes each individual death.

Hank Berkowitz

Rich pronesti said...

Map of the fallen is a great tool. Congrats to the people who put it together. All you throwing around "support the troops" please hire them + try to take care of the vets for years to come. All you businesmen hire a vet - Im really tired of seeing veterans forgotten about. There in every town + city sleeping under bridges + hungry. Put your money where your mouth is. YOU WILL FEEL THE DIFFERENCE

Rube Goldberg said...

As a veteran who is disabled, I would say You did an outstanding job. I had no problems with this, as some have appeared to have had.
Again, thanks for all your hard work, and let's pray for all those in harms way, and for their safe return, where ever they may come from. Some day, I hope soon, that mankind has an epiphany and realizes that war is not always the answer.

Desiree Jewell said...

What an amazing gift! Thank you for your time and dedication in honoring our soldiers

Anonymous said...

your damn file keeps crashing my google earth!

Sean said...

canadaguychris - windows or mac?

If Mac, even if you already have GE 5.0, download the a fresh copy from There is a known issue with Mac version 5.0.11337.1968 that causes crashes. 5.0.11733.9347 should work pretty well.

Unknown said...

I am speechless and grateful... To them for their service and you for your willingness to use your talent to build such an amazing memorial.

Unknown said...

Thank you Sean for taking the time to create this amazing tribute to our fallen heroes!

Samantha said...

Thank you.

Delta102 said...

Something that just had to be done....Thank you

Paws With A Cause said...

Please allow me to assist in any way possible. I work in DC with active duty troops and veterans. I would like to link this blog to my own:
if I have your permission. I keep it updated daily with ALL information regarding health, benefits, legislation, ect. that makes it a little easier for people to find the resources they need. Please let me know what I can do to help.

Karl and Jean said...

I look at the Faces of the Fallen in the Washington Post everytime they are posted there. It is difficult because the first thing that goes through my mind is 'they had their whole lives ahead of them'. I pray for them every day and also for the all the living men and women who are continuing to protect our freedom and defend our country. They are an inspiration to us all.
This is also a great way to remember these men and women - the latest technology - the internet. It is better than a wall or a monument since everyone can see this "Memorial" at home without having to travel thousands of miles to a physical place.
Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

this is an extraordinary project and a wonderful way for me to honor Memorial Day. Thank you. This is significant work.

davidANDERSON said...

Thanks for doing this. It really means a lot.

Cherise said...

This is awesome! I am speechless.

Diana said...

Thanks for your hard work Sean. You have given me a way to "celebrate" Memorial Day by reading about the men and women whom the holiday honors.

shaggy726 said...

Thank you for doing this. As someone who has lost a friend who was in the Army, I would like to see him on your Map of the Fallen. My sister and I created a website in his memory so that others can learn about him:

Thank you to all the men and women (past and present) in our Armed Forces!!!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the tremendous work you have done here to honor and pay tribute to our fallen service members and their families. Your selfless dedication to see this project through is inspiring and very much appreciated by this 28 year Marine Corps Veteran. May we never ever forget those who answered the call of duty and paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our Nation. This noble project serves to remind us of the personal and human toll of war. They are not just a number or part of a talley we hear each day on the news. My hope for your project is that it is not short-term or will be abandoned. You have started something that I suspect has touched millions of Americans. Until there are no more wars, this and other projects like it will be needed to serve as our collective concious and to bear witness to those who gave their last measure of life in service to our Country. May we always remember them.

Bart said...

Technology wise it's a nice app, but function wise it's a bit awkward.

It's like a scorecard for terrorists.

Sean said...


Most regrettably, the Dept. of Defense doesn't report incidents with your friends cause of death. Personally, I would certainly like to include them, as I feel this is an important part of the whole story. Perhaps this I can create a form where people can submit information for those not included on DoD's list.

Unknown said...

I know - more than most - of all the hard work (over more than 3 years) that you put into this project, Sean. Congratulations on a technical tour-de-force, and, more importantly, on a very sincere and moving tribute to the men and women of all the Coalition Nations who fell in the service of their countries. Thank you.

Dr. Gina Di Nola, MSW said...

Great way to honor those who have fallen. Thank you Google and thank you Sean.


Dr. Gina Di Nola, MSW said...

To Bob51282,
there should be a slider at the top of the screen. It controls the month and year. You may be looking too early on the globe.

I'm sorry you can't appreciate the effort here. Go to, then Download map on right side of screen. If you are having difficulty, please ask politely.


EV said...

Check out my blog and feel free to tag on to it. :] and thanks to google!

ibnsuleiman said...

A good tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price defending the rest of us.

@those complaining of errors and omissions, there is a link for helping with these at the top of the page.

@Sean: Thanks. i can see why wired got the wrong author, it does look as if the page is signed Kevin.

Aaron said...

this is an amazing geodatabase you're building.

one idea though. when generalization occurs as you zoom out (in reference to the disappearing icons to reduce clutter), I think it would be more effective to give visual weight to areas that had more casualties. Currently, a single death in the middle of nowhere has the same visual weight as the many who fell in ares like Baghdad.

I also think it would be helpful to include raw numbers for the places where the casualties start to spiral. Each individual could be numbered (#1, #2 in Baghdad etc). Maybe that's already data the user can access, but I didn't see it.

This isn't a criticism. Seriously, what you've put together is incredible. But all databases can always be improved and developed, so I was just sharing some thoughts I had while playing with your creation.

Jamie Dunham said...

This is an amazing project. Certainly gives a visual representation to the sacrifice these men and women have given to One Country.

Thank you.

chow and chatter said...

wow what a great idea very powerful

Joe331 said...

I thought Blogs of Note suppose to be well designed and established blogs (not brand new one with only two posts). I thought they have some standards in choosing blogs of note, apparently not.

Unknown said...

nice blog...

bkgodfrey said...


You're the one who talks too much you pathetic waste of space. You download the map right there from the top of the page.

This was a terrific project and Sean Askay put a lot of work into this, producing something far more meaningful and productive than you ever will. Get out of here and go worry about running your pointless and obscure Observe blog.

Mahesh Singh said...

Hats off to Sean and to Google for this amazing project.

Formula 4 Survival said...

Many thanks for this stunning tribute to Fallen American Heros. I have placed a link to '' from the American Hero's page of our Formula 4 Survival ( web site. Map The Fallen is a perfect compliment to the many resource links we have gathered for Military Service Members and their families. You have truly done something amazing.

Mike V. said...

Thank you very much for the work put into this project. Peace.

popantipop said...

Linda Ellis is the author of the poem you mention.

The Dash by Linda Ellis

There was a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash stands for all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

We'd be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your lifes actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Cos that dash stands for all the time
That you spent alive on earth
And only those who loved you
Know what that little line is worth

It matters not how much you own
The cars the house the cash
What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash

What matters is how you live and love
And how you spend your dash.

Nathan Glovinsky said...

wow that is amazing


Salman said...

For blogging tips visit

Ray said...

Simply Awesome job Sean. Thank you for the fine work and great tribute to our fallen American brothers and sisters.

**Now for some quick ranting**.

Those of the few on here bi**hing and complaining, get your parents to upgrade the computers or take off some of your games eating all your memory and CPU power and the App runs beautifully as intended.

You need a pretty decent computer to run this program as intended, simple as that

My Dell XP 420 with 4 gig memory and dual core CPU runs this program beautifully/same with 1525 Inspiron laptop.

Otherwise a simple thank you would be in order. Where does it say Sean or Google or anyone for that matter owes we people a damn thing. Spoiled asses this country is filled with today..

How much are they asking us to pay for this wonderful tool?

NOTHING!!! so quit complaining

Hongy Boi said...

Using the word hometown might be a little deceiving... the information I got from the Dept. of Defense is actually the "home of record", which the place a person joined the service. You might look for your cousin by last name, using the alphabetical list at the bottom an any soldier's balloon. He might have a different city as his "home of record"

That said, I would like to provide a way for people to make corrections to the information. I'm hoping to get some volunteers to help with this, as receiving a several hundred or even a thousand corrections is more work that I can do alone (considering that information should be verified with the submitter).

So please take a look for your cousin by last name, and if you don't find him, come back soon when I get a corrections page working.


alexis said...

try to answer this :,

Eric said...

Very nicely done, Sean, and a valuable service to the public. Though I'm recently retired from the military myself, I've lost no friends in Iraq or A'stan. But I did learn that an old high school classmate lost a son.

Sanjeev Saikia said...

Great effort Sean, was good to see that someone is working on such a selfless project!

Audra, Green Meadow Lane said...

The amount of time and energy that you've put into this is truly amazing.

Kristin said...

by Archibald MacLeish

Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.
They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us.
They say, We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.
They say, We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.
They say, Our deaths are not ours: they are yours: they will mean what you make them.
They say, Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this.
They say, We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: given them an end to the war and a true peace: give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards: give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.

Mimi said...

It's dreadful to realize that more than 5000 Americans and those in "the coalition" have fallen in these wars. Thank heavens there are no citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan to list--they all escaped unhurt, right?

d smith kaich jones said...

Perhaps another map could be made - one mapping the victims of 9/11.

Quite moving. Thank you.


Gidyean said...

Nice site!
Question: I was looking at my favorite hiking spot near Phoenix, AZ. on Google Earth. The photos that came up were really old? There is a bridge on the street leading up to the hiking trail that did not show up at all on the sat. pic. Just how old are these pics???

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I'm not sure where my comment was that I left yesterday, but please know you have moved me, and so many, with you wonderful project. I wish you well.

Angels March said...

Thank you for creating this.

~Alissa said...

For many of us, Memorial Day is just a day off school and work. Thank you for providing a concrete way I can teach my kids WHY they get the day off.

Pyzahn said...

This is just about the most moving project I've ever seen. I struggle in my heart with how to honor those who have died serving our country. This soars above anything I could have imagined.

Thanks for an amazing effort.

Noisette said...

A very moving tribute Sean, thank you. Amazing that that post from 2005, which in itself was pretty amazing, has grown into this.

DJ TRAX said...

an honor to honor those you have mapped, a great work we will share with many!

Marie said...

I think it's truly great that you are making people aware these people who died for us didn't go out there to show that they were tough or make us feel proud of them they did it because they cared. I will be publishing a poem on the subject tommorow..check it out

Rosemary said...

My son, Cpl. Christopher E. Murphy of Lynchburg, VA, was one of the fallen. I can't tell you how much your project has left a mark on our hearts that have known him. It was so comforting to see the tribute to those that were associated with him as well as all of those that have sacrificed for our country. Momuments of stone are fine but hold only the names that seem to become as cold as the stone itself with age. Your Momument of Tribute to our Fallen Heroes keeps the memory alive and allows all of us to share in all of their sacrifices by reflecting on their faces and deeds and not just the name. My heartfelt Thank You to you and to all that made this project possible and supported you to create this endeavor. It brings me hope that they and their ultimate sacrifice will truly not be forgotten.

009 said...

Amazing work!

heather said...

what an amazing amount of work you've put into this.
thank you so very much for your time and effort.
a friend left me this quote on my memorial day post, i'd like to pass it on if i may.

From ELEANOR AND FRANKLIN by Joseph P. Lash, 1971, p. 844. (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

"During WWII "Eleanor carried a 'wartime' prayer in her purse:

Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?"

Anonymous said...


You did an amazing job! This was an incredible project to undertake by yourself and you have exceeded any expectations! Congrats, all your hard work has finally paid off.

I totally agree that this is equivalent to the Vietnam Wall in magnitude and importance ;)


Penn said...

Dear Sean, First, Thank you, Thank you; from those who have and who never will see Arlington National Cemetery, or the Wall at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial; your mapping is a sober and visual realization of the ultimate sacrifice of our fellow citizens. It is overwhelming. You have given all a true sense of the sacrifice that has and is being made on our behalf.
I know that I speak for everyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country when I say Thank You yet again, for your dedication to this project and obvious heartfelt concern. Your commitment in gathering the information correctly is an enormous, but necessary task. Commendable would be an understatement, your allegiance to it though, is the only true way to honor our fallen soldiers.
As this project becomes known, I am certain you will be included in many thoughts and prayers. You are in that rarefied place of having made a difference. In that regard, I offer you this thought or prayer; May God bless and keep you always, May all your dreams come true…
Sincerely and most respectfully,
A fellow American

Anonymous said...


Dino said...

This was a great idea

Unknown said...

I wish there was something to say more than this is just incredible. Hopefully this can get out to as many people as have been affected. Truly amazing.

Unknown said...

thank you! this has been an awsome project all of us vets appreciate your work!

Unknown said...


So sad the naysayers who can only find fault with your living memorial to our fallen men and women. Regretably, this country is filled with inadequate individuals who want to disparage remarkable achievements. Case in point, Maya Lin and her award winning Vietnam Memorial Wall design.
It ignited a firestorm of opposition when her design was selected over 1400 other entries in the design competition in 1980-81. The press, politicians, other veterans and mainstream American public repudiated her "Pit of Shame" design. Feelings remained so charged at the dedication in 1982 that Lin's name was not even mentioned!
Later, she replied, "The only way I could get over it was to deny it, but in denying it, people never understood what it (the firestorm) cost me. I had a lot of anger for years over the way I was treated."
She went on to explain, "I truly believed that it would help people, and once it was up, they would understand."
Furthermore, she stated "All I can think about is about one person experiencing the work. I designed it so that a child a hundred years from now will still be able to go to that wall and have a sober understanding about a high price of the war" as quoted in a 1996 USA Weekend article.
Sound familiar Sean? Don't even begin to have second thoughts over your earth shattering memorial. The majority of us, who truly care about our living and fallen veterans, can never thank you enough.

Hank Berkowitz,
ex-USMC and Viet Vet

Marie said...

Walk through oceans walk through coals but it'll never amount to walking through one's sorrows.

Kat Downs said...

Great job!

Ponolicious said...

this sounds like an awesome thing

Anonymous said...

Nice job!

thanks :)

Thalissa Mattos said...


Unknown said...

Dear Sean,

I almost wept when I stumbled onto your amazing work on behalf of our Gold Star Families.

For the past 4 years, our nonprofit has been assisting families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq document their lives in the form of "digital stories" that are being shared with schools, museums, libraries, memorials and the general public at

The Stories of the Fallen.

We recently returned from Washington, D.C. where we announced a partnership with the White House Commission on Remembrance to expand this program to as many of the 5,700 families who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that the lives of their loved ones are forever a part of America's permanent memory.

We would like to discuss with you how we might collaborate with the wonderful work that you are doing.

Please contact us at or 408-857-5252, so that we might discuss possible next steps.

In the meantime, thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing to help us all better understand and appreciate the sacrifices of the fallen.

Warren Hegg
President and Founder
Digital Clubhouse Network
"using the power of digital technology to build a better 21st century community"

Marcy said...

Hope you don't mind my following! What a great job you've done on compiling so much informative research on such important subjects! I love that you included the Appalachian Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. That's near and dear to my heart.Keep up the good work! xo~

Marie said...

I have created a poem in commemoration to the u.s troops and any other soldiers. Check it out.

TRUTH459 said...

Thank you for you effort but I must say that IT IS INCOMPLETE!

There are CIA, NSA, Black Ops and MANY Others THAT HAVE GIVEN their LIVES... in the Service and Protection of this Country.

What about all the Veterans from WW 1+2, Korea, Vietman and ALL Other Conflicts. You MISSED them, or DON'T THEY COUNT...?

HISTORY usually ONLY counts the DAY, not the Complete COST!

Thanks, Roger.

primavera123 said...

In the past, those who sought to examine and publish statistics military deaths were considered anti-war, anti-military and disloyal. Your project proves that it is a powerful way to honor the fallen.

Sean said...


Roger, are you volunteering to help with these other conflicts?

I certainly agree with you... this isn't a map of everyone who has ever died in service to this country.

I am limited to data that is publicly available. And I can guarantee you that there are no public sources of deaths for CIA, NSA, Black Ops. With those organizations, by their very nature, we will probably never know who died.

Of course casualties from WW1+2, Korea, Vietnam and casualties from other conflicts count. HOWEVER, this data isn't as rich and easily available.

Vietnam and Korea certainly have lists of casualties and their hometowns. This could be mapped. But there is not additional information, like place or cause of death, photos, etc. You would be looking at just a name on the map. One might argue that this is very impersonal. So the solution there would be to create a system where families could submit information.

WWII: take a look for yourself... This data isn't even digitized yet, meaning it's not possible to map:

Also, I am a single person doing this in my free time. So I can't possibly map every person who has died in a military conflict.

I chose to focus on OEF/OIF because this is my generation's war, and because we don't yet have the equivalent of a national memorial for everyone, like the Vietnam Wall. There is a lot of good information out there for each of these soldiers, which lends itself towards a powerful, respectful and informative project.


Jonathan said...

impressive project

LaDawn said...

Okay, I must be more computer illiterate than I thought. I've gone to the community forums at and I've looked all through the actual map, and I can't find this casualties list. What am I doing wrong?

Sean said...


Hi there. You need to download the map from this website. Look for the "Click here to download map" link at the upper right of the main page of


LaDawn said...

Thanks, Sean. I thought I had done that, but obviously, I hadn't.
Thank you for this work.

kat said...

what an ambitious & moving venture - an honorable tribute to those who have fallen . . .

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! That is one cool project!

Secrets said...

What an amazing contribution!!!

Dogman2 said...

As an ex service man I would like to Thank you for all the work that was done putting this Memorial together. A special Prayer goes out to all the families that lost their child while they sacrifice their lives.

Just me said...

Thank you for all your work to put this together. It is beautiful.

Soarer said...


This is an awesome tribute to the men and women who have given their all so we here at home can enjoy our lives.

Please keep up this impressive project, but I pray one day, soon, it will come to an end. A heart felt thankyou goes out to you and your team of volunteers for this project.

prashant said...

When I open it, there are only two people listed for Idaho. I know of someone that I cannot find on here.

Work From Home

jm said...

Great job! Amazing project.

Snowbear said...

I love Kevin's line. If money was no object, I would invest in a Memorial complex called "The Dash Between Them Center."

Adeline said...

I've been agonizing for a long time about how it is that we have been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously for over 8 years and remained seemingly indifferent to the mounting number of casualties sustained by our soldiers, some of them barely 21 years old. We were encouraged by the Bush Administration to just go about our business. It was, after all, a "professional" war of choice fought by "professional" soldiers who chose to do a job well aware of all the risks.
The "Map of the Fallen" is a great project that is doing a much needed service to the seemingly unengaged public by allowing them to experience and KNOW the faces and lives and the the level of sacrifice and heroism these real human beings have sustained for a cause that continues to remain elusive and ambiguous.
I thank you for making us know and feel the losses enough to want to make every effort to enter the debate on the "usefulness" of these wars and recognize in the faces of so many fallen soldiers our own. Thank you for giving a powerful contemporary application to John Donne's "Meditation 17" that "No man is an island entire of itself; everyman is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." Carmen A. Casís, Professor Emerita, Regis University, Denver, Colorado

Unknown said...

Is there an updated map?