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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 08:49 AM
Original message
Return of U.S. war dead kept solemn, secret
Posted 12/30/2003 8:50 PM

Return of U.S. war dead kept solemn, secret
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. The most touching moment of a slain soldier's homecoming, say those who witness it, is when the chaplain steps forward to pray.

Navy reservist Carlos Vega folds the U.S. Flag at the funeral service at Fort Sam Houston Natioal Cemetery in San Antonio.
By Eric Gay, AP

Standing over a flag-draped coffin that arrived from Iraq this month, Air Force Chaplain Robert Cannon chose this invocation: "We pray and long for the day when war will be no more."

An honor guard removed the aluminum "transfer case" containing the body from the aircraft, as other military officers present to receive the slain servicemember snapped salutes. The honor guard process here at Dover repeated hundreds of times since the Iraq war began is dignified and reverent. And it's carried out in secret, off-limits to the media.

This wasn't always the case. Photographs and film footage of caskets coming home from battlefields have been a stark reminder for Americans of the toll of war. During the Vietnam War, the image of caskets arriving at Dover became a staple of the nightly news. The phrase "Dover Test" later came to signify public tolerance, or lack of it, for mounting war casualties.
(snip/...)

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-12-31-casket-u...

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DemVet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. As a vet...
...I think the homecoming of remains of our servicemembers be left up to the discretion of the families and not be made into a political media spectacle by either side. Shall we start the Funeral Channel also?
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beyurslf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes, but
without reminding Americans about the cost of war it is easy to forget that we do lose people. A number on the screen that shows how many servicemen/women we have lost is just a number. But a coffin, a military funeral, a picture of those who were lost... that makes the number real and much harder to ignore.
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seixon Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. OK
Yes, clearly we should engage people to put emotions in the forefront when they are thinking about foreign policy...
Funerals and all that are private and personal.
I really would hate to see the media publicize and disgrace such a thing for political reasons, it would just be sickening.

Sure, numbers on the screen don't really give us the sense of the reality, yet if we keep seeing caskets on the screen, we'll become desensitized to that too.

In Vietnam we were losing more than 300 every week, thousands per year. That is a "tad" different.

In either case, it is disrespectful to show soldier's caskets on the screen as it serves no meaningful purpose other than to inject people's emotions into what should be a logical and reflective debate over foreign policy.

I don't think using "dead bodies" would be a tool for Democrats to use... it would backfire, thus I don't see the point.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Listen bub. You have not seen any Democrat suggest using "dead bodies"...
Edited on Wed Dec-31-03 08:23 PM by NNN0LHI
...of soldiers who have died in Iraq for political gain, or for any other reason here. So I don't know why the fuck you would say it? Though I sure have seen Bush and his minions do it every chance they can. From bodies being pulled from mass graves in Iraq, to the 'Weekend At Bernie's' stunt they pulled with Hussein's sons. So don't even give me that shit.

Don

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mbperrin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Aristotle says all true argument is composed of logic,
emotion and morals. Leave out any of those and you have an incomplete argument.

After all, we are one of the only societies I've ever heard of that puts its young on the line to "protect" the old. Usually, it's the other way around - the old and experienced protect the young.
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kainah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Yes, but the families have NOT chosen this
Some families MIGHT chose to have the return covered, some families might prefer to HAVE coverage. The point is that this has been turned into a political issue BY THE BUSHIES who banned the media from covering the return of remains to Dover AFB.

If families want to keep the funeral of their loved ones private, the media should definitely respect that. But this has nothing to do with the choices of the families. It has to do with concealing the bloody reality of what his war is bringing us. When those soldiers return home, for that brief moment of their arrival, they belong to their nation. They are our heroes, they are our brothers & I think we should be reminded of the price we are asking them to pay.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. From another combat vet and current reservist
If KIA, I want my return to the USA to be on national news. It is a matter of NATIONAL PRIDE when our fallen troops return to our soil and our countrymen deserve to see it. The decision to allow this is above and beyond the wishes of anyone but the American people.
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drewb Donating Member (564 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sainte Marie Buffy - Universal Soldier Lyrics
He is five foot two,
and he's six feet four,
he fights with missiles and with spears,
he is all of thirty-one,
and he's only a seventeen,
he's been a soldier for thousands years.

He's a Catholic, a Hindy,
an atheist, A Chein,
A Buddhist, a Baptist and a Jew,
and he knows, he shouldn't kill,
and he knows, he always will,
care for me, my friend, and I will care for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
he's fighting for France,
he's fighting for the USA
and he's fighting for the Russians,
he's fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for democracy,
he's fighting for the Reds,
he says it's for the peace of all,
he's the one who must decide,
who's to live and who's to die,
and he never sees the writing on the wall.

And without him, how would Hitler
kill the people at Dachau,
without him Cesar would have stood alone,
he's the one, who gives his body
as a weapon of the war,
and without him always killing cant go on.

He's the universal soldier,
and he really is to blame,
his orders came from far away, no more,
they came from here and there,
and you and me ain't brothers,
can't you see,
this is not the way we put an end to war.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. Easier to ignore when the dead are hidden n/t
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kainah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. National Day of Action to Bring the Coffins Into the Open
The Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center has a proposal out for this National Day of Action. I was just reading about it and passing it along to our peace group.

http://www.endthewar.org/rmpjproposal.htm
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. WHY?
This is a travesty!!!

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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Another Vet here, and one who was 5mm away from having to
fly to Dover...
We need to know the cost of this (and every) war.

The cost of war is deaths and disfigurements.

What these chickenhawk shits are doing is DISHONORING the deaths of those service members... by hiding the arrival ceremony from the country, like we are ashamed of them and their deaths.

This must stop. People need to see this. It is the only way to wake up the sleeping sheep.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-01-04 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. You're sooo right, WJMS...
"... by hiding the arrival ceremony from the country, like we are ashamed of them"

They are ashamed of the dead. The Iraq war was supposed to be executed with minimal casualties (because no one has been known to die from a rose petal pummeling), but the casualty count is the greatest suffered by our armed forces since the Vietnam War. They don't want the country to know "who" and/or "how many."

I cannot think of a worse way to dishonor the dead than to deny that their sacrifice even happened in the first place...
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PartyPooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-31-03 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil...
I guess that's what it's all about in Amerika these days.

heavy sarcasm /

:eyes:
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-01-04 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. You can say that again


An especially appropriate symbol in this new Year of the Monkey
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-01-04 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
16. The next thing ya know, they'll be bad mouthing Jim Lehrer's News hour..
for producing a photo and name in silence of soldiers that lost their life in this farce.
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