Pentagon to Allow Photos of Returning War Dead

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is something that has really bothered me over the last eight years. Why can't we see the dead? Ever wonder why we as Americans seem so far removed from the cultures of other countries around the world? Well, I am here to tell you one of the big reasons...we don't know death. There are a lot of people that would be upset by that statement "my Mom died last year," they might say or "My best friend died from Cancer," and I feel your pain, I really do. My Dad died when I was eleven years old on the couch right next to me, I got your pain right here. But unlike other cultures who celebrate their elders and bring the dying and even their dead into their homes embracing that passage of life as we know it, we simply chose not to acknowledge it at all. Is there anyone out there who really does not know that death happens? Even children too young to have had any real life experience with it should be aware that it happens, pets die, plants die, parents die and soldiers die. It happens, it is a fact of life and one that we would be better off to embrace than pretend it isn't going to happen to everyone you know at some point including yourself.

So what is the big deal with seeing photos of flag draped coffins? One thing, now you know. Now you know how many men and women fighting for this country don't come back to hug their families and tuck their children into bed at night. We have all heard the number on the news, the number of soldiers that have been killed overseas but no one wants be a number. Why? Because you can't identify with a number, numbers don't have faces, they don't have stories. You tell me what effects you more some anchor on the nightly news saying "there were 15 soldiers killed today in Fallujah" or video of a line of fifteen coffins being unloaded from a military plane? That's what I thought.

Photo from

4 your two cents:

Susie said...

I think it is easier for us to go on with the war if we don't see the dead. It is national denial.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such sweet comments! I hope to see you back there soon:-)

MammaDucky said...

Comin' at ya through SITS.
I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you here. This isn't about you or me grasping the death toll. This is about the pain and anguish to the families involved (yes, I know family consent will be required, but that is a grey area, especially with military personnel).
It just feels wrong to exploit the dead for political or personal gain (those images sell a lot of papers).
My husband came home, I'm lucky. My neighbor's husband didn't. My best friend's hubby barely made it home. For that we are thankful and we know the amount of dignity and respect those men that didn't make it back deserve.

I would never post a picture of my sister, dead in her coffin after she died of cancer. That is the difference. People think that because they are fighting for this country that they "belong" to the people. I weep for those who believe that it is a "right" of the people. I guess thats why this country is great. People will never ever feel the real grasp of what is going on until it is them. No matter how many newspapers are splashed with pictures of flag draped coffins. I just blogged about this very topic. I only hope that people can figure out another way to "understand" this war.

Sorr to intrude on your blog, I am not hating on you, just trying to explain from the standpoint of a proud Marine Wife, why it was that way. And yes, I have been present when several wives first saw their husbands coffins for the first time, at one there was a reporter snapping pics of her kids as they walked up to it, it was the most disrespectful thing I have ever personally seen. When will people learn. You ask what is the big deal? Would you want someone using your dead husband to sell papers? how about to represent a view that you are totally opposed to? How about just not having to see it days prior to burying him? Its just a respect thing. There are few things respected in the world today, and after this, even one less.

Please know that this post is written with respect to what you believe. Just me telling you the other side. Plese feel free to delete if you find it offensive.

Deatren said...

I just want you guys to know I do not find your view point offensive in any way and totally respect them. Thanks you to both Mammaducky and SassypantsWifey for being so honest and thoughtful when leaving comments on my blog

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