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While Italy publicly honors its war dead, America hides its dead. Is that respecting our soldiers?
By Gail Vida Hamburg.
The state funeral in Rome last month for Nicola Calipari – the Italian intelligence officer who rescued a kidnapped journalist from Iraqi captors, only to be gunned down by jittery American soldiers at a checkpoint in Baghdad – was a national event that united all Italians, merging their raw sorrow with the singular grief of his widow and children. It was the second time Italy pulled out all the stops for its Iraq War dead. In November of 2003, it staged an elaborate state funeral for nineteen of its citizens, killed in a suicide truck bombing in Nasiriyah.
In both instances, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his ministers, President Carlo Ciampi, and an honor guard in full-dress uniform stood with grieving families on the tarmac of Rome’s Ciampino military airport to receive their dead. There were national days of mourning and public visitation hours to the reposed, and at night, the Coliseum’s lights were dimmed in a mark of respect.
All Italy watched (on television) as officers from Italy’s civil services carried the flag-draped coffins past honor guards representing every branch of the military. The Carabinieri (paramilitary corps), in their regal uniforms and blue-and-red plume hats, stood guard while lone buglers played the Last Post and other laments. Stricken Italians lined the routes of the funeral cortege to pay their respects, before the bodies were entombed in Rome’s war memorial.
The participation in these last rites symbolized a shared sacrifice between those who prosecute wars, those who must fight them, and those who grieve and honor them—not just the dead and their families, but the entire nation. The pageantry on display was no more excessive than the heroism of the fallen, for surely there can be no greater excess than surrendering one’s life for country.
Originally posted by utrex
W hasn't made any mistakes, though. Just ask him!
It's not quite that easy in this instance. First of all, this adminstration doesn't have a clue in how to plan or prosecute a war. Their policies are wreaking havoc upon our men and women in uniform. During the Vietnam War, a soldier was sent to Vietnam for ONE (usually 12 month) tour. They were NOT required to turn right back around and deploy back. For very good reasons. ONE tour was it - unless you VOLUNTEERED for another tour. No one was EVER forced back. And no one got stop-loss orders as they are now. Like back then, NO soldier should be forced into back-to-back tours in theater. EVER. It's a travesty.
The current policies are terribly unhealthy mentally, forget about physically. The men conducting this war have proven they have absolutely NO business in the war business.
You wanna attack something or someone? Attack the architects of this absurdism. They are responsible for the current insanity within our ranks.
Originally posted by LA_Maximus
ECK, What do you suggest? Parade the coffins down main street? The military keeps it low-key out of respect to the soldiers families.
Look I was a US Army soldier and I risked my a** too many times to mention, but if Id had fallen, all I would want is a quiet return to my homeland and have dignified burial with my family and friends. Show some respect young man.
[edit on 043131p://444 by LA_Maximus]
Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
These are pictures of war dead that are legal and appropriate. It is callous and indefensible to use pictures of stark metal transport coffins in transit for political purposes.
Since 1991, the U.S. Defense Department has prohibited news media from covering the arrival of the remains of U.S. troops. It says the policy is meant to protect the privacy of soldiers' families and the dignity of the dead.
Originally posted by Seekerof
Interesting or ironic?
Real patriotism or your own condensed version of it?
You are a self-proclaimed vet, just as I am. Interesting that we would see things totally from different perspectives, eh?
Our soldiers deserve more than honor for their deaths and subsequent contributions and committments, they deserve such when they are alive!
Are you doing that now when you condone and agree with desertion [which ultimately impacts themselves, their families, and more importantly, their comrades in arms] and berate their doings in Iraq or simply using their deaths as an instrument to pursue your anti-Bush agenda?
[edit on 24-3-2005 by Seekerof]
Originally posted by JamesBlonde
I certainly agree that the fallen deserve full military honours. When they are available anything less is an insult and a disgrace. Isn't it the Bush administration which is preventing this?
Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
No one is preventing a full military funeral for any veteran, unless it is the individual family, who has the right to do so. Were I to be buried at the time of my death, I could have one, as well. This is really a non-issue trumped up by the left so that they can use the pictures of the bodies in transit for shock value.