As a World War II army veteran, it was patriotically gratifying to finally see a member of the American military killed in Iraq honored, and his family properly acknowledged, on TV for the sacrifice of his life in Iraq when his flag-draped coffin arrived in the United States.
The mother of the dead soldier, against the opposition of federal administration directives, gave permission for TV and the published news media to show his flag-draped coffin arriving in the Untied States, and then, with great dignity, properly, and ceremonially honored by being carried to the funeral hearse by a military contingent of pall bearers. Permitting the public to see the flag-draped coffins of our soldiers, and mourn with, and in support of, the soldier’s family was formerly the norm in our country.
Today, public viewing in the news media of flag-draped coffins of their war dead, and a ceremonial military homecoming with uniformed pall bearers, continues to be the norm in Great Britain for honoring soldiers killed in Iraq.
The mother of the American dead soldier emphatically advised the press that she did not do this for any political reason, but only because she thought that it was the proper and normal thing to do. She probably wanted her son’s flag-draped coffin to be able to be seen and honored by the American public, and have them appreciate his patriotic sacrifice for his country, and acknowledge the sacrifice of his family.
It is too bad that the current federal administration erroneously tries to convince the public that the families of our killed soldiers wish only secrecy when the bodies are returned, and do not wish the public to be able to see on television and in the published news media the flag-draped coffins of their dead sons and daughters receiving proper, ceremonial, military honors upon their arrival home.
Members of our federal government evidently believe that the showing of flag-draped coffins in the news media would hurt chances for re-election, and, under-estimating the patriotism and common sense of Americans, stop support for the United States military. This is probably the only real reason of the current administration for issuing directives suppressing the ability of the American people to see these flag-draped coffins in the news media.
The American public is not to be permitted to see and be able to acknowledge the sacrifice of our soldiers, and compassionately mourn with, and appreciate the sacrifices of the families whose sons and daughters are killed in the military service of the United States.
Contact the President and your representatives in Congress and strongly request that they stop the secrecy.
Julian "Bud" Batlan