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Pentagon will allow photos of flag-draped caskets : good or bad?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mustangj17, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I always thought this wasn't done because it was bad for morale. Guess that's not the case anymore.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-02-26-pentagon-coffins_N.htm
     
  2. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    I've always thought that this was something that has always been done in some respect or another. Pentagon has allowed some much worse photos to get through to the AP.
     
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Concern about morale during wartime started when Americans begin turning against the Vietnam War. By the 80s, more restrictions were put on the military, and as the story says, Bush I banned the coffin photos in 1991.

    If you watch old Movietone clips during WWII, they show coffins and graveyards constantly. It was frequently used as a reminder about the sacrifices of war.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Member

    I think it's good. It humanizes the effects of war. There are people under those flags in those boxes. It's not insensitive to show their caskets draped by a flag -- they signed up willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and they died with honor.

    No reason to hide that from people.
     
  5. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Seeing reality is never a bad idea.
     
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Correct.

    That policy has nothing to do with morale. Has to do with the government trying to drum up support during and after Vietnam.
     
  7. Boomer7

    Boomer7 Active Member

    I can't grasp the argument of the families who say this is a privacy matter. If the camera captures flag-draped coffins, whose privacy is being violated? The dead men and women whom you can't see?
     
  8. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    Wouldn't that be... morale?
     
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I'm shocked--shocked--that Republican presidents deemed these photos unacceptable.
     
  10. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    I say this is a good thing. Those are kids in those caskets and I see no reason to bring them home under the cover of darkness.
     
  11. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    I always found it ironic that those who often said "freedom is not free" prevented the media from showing the rest of the country exactly just how high a price must sometimes be paid, by banning those photos.
     
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I think the new policy is how it should be. The return to Andrews is a reminder of what sacrifices are made on behalf of a nation. I do think some families might feel uncomfortable about it and it should be there call, but I really think the parade of caskets was a PR move by Bush. These days about the only chance I have to pause and reflect on those who have given all, is when I see a graphic on TV with names and hometowns. I always stop my channel surfing when I come upon those.
    The individual funerals are too localized to get that same appreciation. Nobody knows how much every American is paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'd hate to think we're papering over the human costs as well.
     
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