A Memorial Day Look at Afghanistan: May 2011 as presented by: The Atlantic

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day set aside to remember and honor those who have died in military service. It's now been almost a decade since the start of the current war in Afghanistan, during which nearly 1,600 U.S. service members and nearly 1,000 other coalition troops have given their lives -- more than 50 in the past month alone. Tens of thousands of insurgents and civilians have also died in the struggle for control over this vast, complex, and war-weary nation. The Obama administration meanwhile appears to remain committed to begin drawing down U.S. troops in July, aiming for a full withdrawal by 2014. Gathered here are images from the conflict over the past month. This post is part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. Lydia Soren, mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Joe Jackson, cries as she holds one of the flags that draped Jackson's casket, on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at Jackson's burial service in Yakima, Washington. Jackson, 22, of White Swan, Washington, died on April 24, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. A member of a U.S. Marine honor guard folds a flag at the burial service for Marine Lance Cpl. Joe Jackson, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in Yakima, Washington. Jackson, 22, of White Swan, Washington, died on April 24 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Kiki Harris of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, visits the grave of her twin brother, Navy Seal Joshua Thomas Harris, who died serving in Afghanistan in 2008, as American flags on each headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day, in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday, May 26, 2011.

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