I am writing in response to two recent articles: “10 years after, Iraq waits for healing” (March 18) and “A Gun at 14, then a senseless killing” (March 17).

The “shock and awe” airstrikes that began the Iraq war 10 years ago today should shock us all. It is so easy for us not to let the numbers affect us — just because it is a number.

Monday’s article stated that nearly 4,500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war. Those numbers deserve repeating, and the effect they should have on all of us is shock and awe. The article in Sunday’s paper should have the same effect.

In America, 2,000 teens die per year from gun homicide — the equivalent of 100 Newtowns. Is it because these killings happen one at a time that we are not shocked? Our response to these numbers should be shock, awe and outrage.

Heidi Kriesel-White, Stillwater