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Published:April 28th, 2009 09:18 EST
Lifting of Ban on Press Coverage of U.S. Flag-Draped Coffins at Air Force Bases Has Not Resulted in Media Circus

Lifting of Ban on Press Coverage of U.S. Flag-Draped Coffins at Air Force Bases Has Not Resulted in Media Circus

By Philip Lawrence

On February 21, 2009 I wrote an article urging President Obama and the Department of Defense to lift the ban on press coverage of the U.S. flag-draped coffins of fallen American service members arriving at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware and Travis Air Force Base, California.  

Five days later - on February 26 - the ban was lifted provided the family members of the deceased agreed to permit access to the press.  Since the lifting of the ban, the families of fourteen of nineteen fallen American service members have so agreed.  And contrary to critics, a media circus has not resulted from press access, rather the press have been cooperative, respectful, and polite. 

And at the return of one soldier, there was only one reporter present - an Associated Press photographer.  The Department of Defense is currently considering letting the individual service member decide before he or she deploys whether to allow press coverage in the event of his or her death to relieve the family of having to making the decision.