Sunday, April 12, 2009
First the first time in 18 years media was allowed access to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to cover the return of military caskets. President Obama lifted the ban that restricted videos or pictures of the procession. The ban was implemented during the Gulf War by the first Bush president which some believe was an act to hide the human costs of war. At the time the memories and legacies of Vietnam still dictated political decisions. Bush 41 did not want coffins returning home that reminded the public of Vietnam. The lift of the ban is a sign that the current political climate is not haunted by mistakes in Vietnam. The president should be mindful of mistakes made during Vietnam, but his act to lift the ban says that the American people will not be left out. And the commander in chief will make decisions with the understanding that the public will see the consquences. He will not hide from protest or opposition- the ban did not suppress freedoms but its repeal is a jesture that symbols confidence. Bush 43 avoided protest stirred by returning coffins, now we will have a stronger visual image and deeper connection to those lost in the field.