Yesterday, a woman walking her dog along a Florida beach discovered a large barnacle covered object that had washed ashore and lodged itself in the sand. It was an unexploded WWII torpedo from a submarine that had failed to hit it's deadly mark more than 60 years earlier. When the proper authorities realized that this torpedo was still active and simply too dangerous to move, the Navy was called in to detonate the torpedo.
Many years after wars, unexploded bombs, landmines and shells continue to present a huge danger, often with deadly results. In Vietnam, for example, more than 38,000 persons have been killed and another 100,000 injured from unexploded bombs left over from the Vietnam War according to Radio Australia, and landmines from conflicts in Africa continue to take many lives after the conflict has been resolved. Next to the heavy use of child soldiers, this use of landmines in Africa presents a terrible specific threat to civilians. In Korea, the U.S. uses tens of thousands of landmines to help "enforce" the "no man's land" divide between the two nations where American or South Korean military forces are more sparce. It seems that the deadly threat of a landmine deters cross border military incursions, but often finds innocent children or farmers as well, especially hungry persons looking for something to eat as hunger and starvation worsens in the North where even many trees have been stripped of bark by hungry persons.
Long after wars are over, many persons die or are injured by forgotten unexploded bombs. This is yet another bitter legacy of war where civilians often pay a far higher cost than those wearing a military uniform. In war jargon, these civilian deaths are often simply dismissed as "collateral damage", a innocent enough sounding use of terminology to describe death or loss of limbs in innocent civilians caught up in the deadly cycle of a war.
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