Map The Fallen: Online, Interactive Memorial Tribute

Dennis Faas's picture

Interested in helping honor fallen U.S. troops who gave their lives in its recent wars, but not sure how to do it? A new Google Earth tool helps people find local (and not so local) families as well as media related to those troops who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a worthy reminder that these wars are far from over.

The new feature is called Map the Fallen, a new Google Earth layer released Sunday by Google engineer Sean Askay. It holds data on the 5,700-plus service members who have died during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The highly interactive feature allows users to view photographs, learn details about how a serviceman or woman passed, and visit web sites dedicated to the fallen. Some of these sites even include photos, comments, and other media produced by family members. It's a useful feature that can help students (and just about anyone else) understand the impact war has on average Americans. (Source:

An Honorable Hobby

As for Askay, he has never been a military man and he's not being paid by the U.S. armed forces. Instead, he developed Map the Fallen as his own commemoration to America's heroes, working on the project on his own time.

Askay was a student when he first came up with the idea, and has vivid memories of his first visit to, a site devoted to updating the list of fallen U.S. soldiers since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. (Source:

The tool's map qualities are quite remarkable. It plots the original place of residence for U.S. soldiers and also where they fell. Just taking a quick look at the total troops who've fallen is remarkable, and the little green women and little yellow men that blot out many of the U.S.' most populous centers brings home the depth of their sacrifice these last eight years or so.

Map the Fallen a Useful Reminder

Those interested in downloading Map the Fallen will need to install Google Earth 5.0 or a later version. Once that's installed, users can simple download the Map the Fallen layer and open it.

Given that most of the headline news over the last 8-10 months has focused squarely on the American economy and concerns limited to the lower 48 states, Askay's tool helps remind us that both of these wars are continuing in earnest.

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