Monday, April 06, 2009

Bring out yer dead! First Photos of Fallen Soldier Ends 18-Year Ban

US media publish first photos of returning war dead Washington - Newspapers on Monday published the first photographs of the flag draped casket of a killed member of the military being returned to the United States since a ban on the images went into effect in 1991. A military honour guard was seen carrying the casket of Air Force Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers off an airplane at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware late Sunday. He was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Saturday. Images of returning war dead have become a contentious issue during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with allegations the government was attempting to hide the dead. The Pentagon had instituted the ban under then-president George HW Bush in 1991 during the first Gulf War in an effort to shield the privacy of military families. President Barack Obama lifted the ban and the family of the deceased are now given the option of opening the arrival ceremony to the media. Air Force Captain Michael Andrews salutes as the remains of Staff Sgt. Myers who died near Afghanistan's Helmand province, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. Nikki Kahn-The Washington Post

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