Arlington Memorial Disgrace

Today’s NYTimes editorial, Witnessing the War Dead, From Afar tears rather deeply at me (sh). No, I’ve never been a fan of this Iraq war and occupation. Alas, I have a son soon enough on his way there.
So excuse me if I don’t quite contain my angst at yet another effort to shroud the costs of the Iraq war — by keeping the media far away from funeral ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery.

The muting of bad war news, which started at the Pentagon, is now an issue as well at Arlington National Cemetery. A public affairs director at the cemetery was recently fired after complaining that rules were tightened to isolate the media 50 yards away — well beyond the point at which news organizations could hear, never mind photograph or videotape, burial ceremonies.

I’m all for decorum, respect, honor, etc. The Pentagon says it is following the wishes of the families. But what of those families who do wish to share their moment of supreme trial? Are they now being coached to stay anonymous, to treat the media, to treat their fellow citizens as “the enemy?” Sure looks that way.
If I’m ever, heaven forbid, faced with this cup, I say in advance….
Dear God, I can’t….
But I can say this. Not all of the media will be welcome. To Michael R. Gordon, the “next Judith Miller,” who continues his under-handed campaign to drum up public sentiment for another war, this time with Iran…. he and his ilk would not be welcome.

3 thoughts on “Arlington Memorial Disgrace”

  1. Scott, thanks for writing about this outrage. (And so effectively, too.)
    Regarding your son, I feel a bit bad about having referred to the country he’s about to be deployed to as a “sitting duck abbatoir.” And I’m really sorry if that added to the burdens of hurt and concern that I’m sure you’re already feeling about his deployment.
    My deepest hope regarding all the US service members in Iraq is that they can all exit the country and return to their homes and loved ones still whole in body and soul– and that they can do so very soon indeed. I imagine that is your hope, too. I really admire your commitment to the cause of de-escalation and conflict termination in the whole of the Persian Gulf region– and, too, your readiness to speak out even about your keenest personal fears regarding your son’s fate.
    God with him and with everyone else in the battle zone. May they all emerge unharmed, if at all possible.

  2. The Pentagon says it is following the wishes of the families. But what of those families who do wish to share their moment of supreme trial?
    Hamm, but MSM full of dead Iraqi bodies with all the disgusting images from Iraq about Iraqis, did US media have following the wishes of Iraqi nation and Iraqi families?
    But this is the heroes who make their wars legal call it the war of freedom but hiding their head in the sand for their fraud news about their loses by telling they following the wishes of the families.

  3. “As you leave the visitor’s center one of the first signs you see is a plain white notice which bears the following message:”

    Our nation’s most sacred shrine? More than, say, Independence Hall? Or the Statue of Liberty? The word shrine implies something religious or spiritual, in the sense that a shrine is a place where devotees worship the person, thing, or concept memorialized therein. A shrine also tends to be a concrete object, a public edifice whose significance may change over time. As old people and perspectives die and new ones take their place,

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