A war is underway in the United States today, with the nation’s youth suffering its most devastating consequences. It is an undeclared war, but it is as real and savage as any of the wars that claim the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The casualties of this war come from a thousand bloody battles being waged nightly on the neighborhood streets of cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Memphis, and Los Angeles.

August 27, 2011

Losing A Generation “Too Young To Die” 2011

Photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz

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As published in the Washington Post – December 2012

A war is underway in the United States today, with the nation’s youth suffering its most devastating consequences. It is an undeclared war, but it is as real and savage as any of the wars that claim the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The casualties of this war come from a thousand bloody battles being waged nightly on the neighborhood streets of cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Memphis, and Los Angeles. Some victims are gang members; some are elementary school children—innocent bystanders walking to school or playing in front of their homes. Tragically, on average, sixteen youth between the ages of 10 and 24 are killed in the United States every day (CDC, 2009) as a result of gun violence. This is more than the number of American servicemen lost each year in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Chicago in 2010, nearly 700 children were hit by gunfire, an average of almost two a day. Sixty-six of these children died. (NPR, 2011)

PHOTOGRAPHS by Carlos Javier Ortiz / facingchange.org

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