From the Rocky Mountain News
Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a review Tuesday of a Pentagon policy banning media from taking pictures of flag-draped coffins of military dead, signaling that he was open to overturning the policy to better honor fallen soldiers.
Secretary Gates, is allowing the media to post photos of flag draped caskets in the best interests of the fallen heroes and their families or Code Pink?
For me this is a touchy subject. These men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice deserve to be returned with honor, respect and dignity and not turned into a photo op for any number of political messages. This holds true for Republicans and and Democrats alike.
In a letter Monday to Obama, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said the Pentagon should develop a new policy to allow "respectful" media coverage while protecting the privacy of the victims and their families.
John Ellsworth, who is president of Military Families United and whose son, Justin, was 20 when he was killed in Iraq in 2004, said in an interview today that some families strongly oppose allowing photographers while others want them.
"We have a whole wide range of feelings," Mr. Ellsworth said. "We feel it should be left up to the families, and it sounded to me like Secretary Gates was in that same line of thinking."
Fine, if the families want the media to take photographs of their fallen loved one, so be it; but let that happen AFTER the remains have been turned over to the family.
It behooves me to say that if you are not aware of how a fallen hero is transported home now is the time to make plans to see the new HBO movie, Taking Chance. This is a poignant story about Marine Lance Corporal Chance Phelps remains being returned home from Iraq after giving the ultimate sacrifice. The original story is available to read over at Blackfive, Taking Chance Home, and is WELL WORTH THE READ.
Also available at PhxGonline.com