President Obama was asked at his news conference last night if he were going to change the Bush Administration policies of forbidding news coverage of coffins returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he would review it.
For their own reasons, probably more political than concern for family grief, the Bush administration would not allowed any pictures of American coffins returning from war. Some, however, did appear on the Internet.
Granted it is a negative message that images of flag draped coffins send home and that’s why all administrations involved in war have kept images of these kind as quiet as possible.
What governments have always failed to acknowledge is that once a warrior is dead, politics end. The dignity of name is important to the validity of service, not only to the family, but to the social and patriotic permanence to our society. Heroes are honored, not hidden.
Hang the politics, these are our dead. They served by choice and honor. They died by circumstance and the hatred of another. Let us acknowledge their remains with images and names and bugle calls in public.