Friday, April 23, 2004


Since March 2003, a newly-enforced military regulation has forbidden taking or distributing images of caskets or body tubes containing the remains of soldiers who died overseas. [read more]

Immediately after hearing about this, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the following:

All photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB. This would include, but not be limited to, caskets arriving, caskets departing, and any funerary rites/rituals being performed. The timeframe for these photos is from 01 February 2003 to the present.

I specified Dover because they process the remains of most, if not all, US military personnel killed overseas. Not surpisingly, my request was completely rejected. Not taking 'no' for an answer, I appealed on several grounds, and—to my amazement—the ruling was reversed. The Air Force then sent me a CD containing 361 photographs of flag-draped coffins and the services welcoming the deceased soldiers.

Score one for freedom of information and the public's right to know.

And thank you Russ Kick for fighting for that right. It is truly a comfort to witness the respect and care given our fallen soldiers on their journey home.

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