Friday, August 22, 2008

Arlington Follies

When its time for my carcass to be planted I hope there is no longer the circus of Army Brass versus the press at our National Cemetaries. I have been reading the saga at Arlington National Cemetery with Army employees being fired, the leadership imposing self serving or arbitrary rules… recently it came to be announced

A special U.S. Army committee has drafted a proposal that would allow reporters covering military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery to listen in using a microphone, according to a Voice of America report.
The proposal addresses an issue that came to a head in April when Arlington National Cemetery officials forced reporters covering a military funeral to stand at least 50 yards away from the services, even though the service member's family had agreed to let the media attend the funeral.

Frankly – I respect there is a need for dignity at a funeral Service (although I secretly hope for a hell of a party when I exit stage right) – I trust my family to make those decisions to include whether press attendance is allowable. I don’t want some bueauracrat in a distant office to dictate the setting and conditions for my last day above ground. Arlington’s leadership needs to get over their own sense of self appointed importance and provide a process that allows families to conduct their service as much as possible as the family desires. If that includes members of the press – duly invited – then let it be so.

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