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Old 04-06-2009, 08:41 AM   #1
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For The First Time In 18 Years

In this March 19, 2008 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Lt. Gen. Robert D. Bishop Jr., then 3rd Air Force commander, left, presents Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers, 48th Civil Engineer Squadron, with a Bronze Star medal during an Airmens Call at RAF Lakenheath, England. Myers, 30, of Hopewell Va, died April 4, 2009 in Afghanistan from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. After receiving permission from family members, Air Force officials planned to open Dover Air Force Base, Delaware for the media to observe the return of the body of Myers Sunday night.

The new Pentagon policy gives families a choice of whether to admit the press to ceremonies at Dover, home to the nation's largest military mortuary and the entry point to the U.S. for service personnel killed overseas.

Critics of the previous policy had said the government was trying to hide the human cost of war.

President Barack Obama had asked for a review of the ban, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that the blanket restriction made him uncomfortable. The administration will let families decide whether to allow photographs.

For example, if several caskets arrive on the same flight, news coverage will be allowed only for those whose families have given permission.

The ban was put in place by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, at the time of the Persian Gulf War. From the start, it was cast as a way to shield grieving families.


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Old 04-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Part of the responsibility of engaging in war should be seeing the cost of the lives it takes and maims, not just the statistics but the individual lives.
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