I was infuriated to read this article in Stars & Stripes this morning.
The Department of Defense unit charged with recovering servicemembers’ remains abroad has been holding phony “arrival ceremonies” for seven years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as though they held the remains returning that day from old battlefields.
The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn’t even fly, and were towed into position.
The ceremonies at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii are held up as a sign of the nation’s commitment to its fallen warriors. They have been attended by veterans and families of MIAs, led to believe that they were witnessing the return of Americans killed in World War II, Vietnam and Korea.
There’s more at the link.
To fake the reception of the remains of dead US servicemen makes a mockery of their sacrifice for their country, insults their families, and denigrates the otherwise honorable service of those who have to pretend to receive their remains. So . . . which desk-warming bureaucratic uniformed clown came up with this policy? And why hasn’t his or her head rolled yet?