First, welcome back. The blog took a hit for a few days last week because of network issues but I’m back now, for the time being.
Anyway, an issue from this war hit up close and personal this week. Since President Bush 41, photographing the caskets of our fallen brothers and sisters has been banned. I saw today that this policy is being relooked. While I will fully support and carry out the orders of those appointed over me, I sincerely hope this administration will leave the ban in place.
It is not because of any desire to hide the cost of this war in lives. It is not to protect anyone’s right to privacy because there is no way identify who is carried in which casket. The entire reason I want this ban to remain in place is to honor our brothers and sisters and carry out the process of their return home with quiet dignity and respect.
While I can understand that most reporters and photographers would conduct themselves and treat the results of their work in a respectful manner, inevitably there would be that one who would desecrate the photos or use them as part of a protest. Our soldiers gave their lives to protect and defend the Constitution, and yes, that involves free speech even to the point of disrespecting our fallen brothers and sisters. That, however, does not make the thought any less distasteful or disgusting to me as a soldier or as an American.
We owe it to our brothers and sisters who have made the ultimate sacrifice to respect the last honors this nation bestows on them and not create a public spectacle of their final return home. People who wish to protest or advertise the cost of this war should find another way to do so and remember that human decency should impact their decisions. People who wish to pay their respects should find another way as well, preferably one that involves permission from the families.
But please, leave the honors due to our fallen brothers and sisters where they belong. With the families and friends of the fallen. We as a nation owe it to the families to respect them, as well as their fallen loved ones.