After a Washington Post article on November 9, the United States Air Force recently admitted that from 2003 to 2008 it had dumped the cremated remains of at least 274 servicemen who had died in America’s overseas wars in a landfill in Virginia. The USAF stopped that secret practice and is now burying such remains at sea.
It is beyond words to express the outrage of such a practice.
Not only does it denigrate the dead, it shows just how poor the judgment of government-led bureaucracies can be. To them, they weren’t people, they were remains. Add to that the fact that this was kept secret even from officials in the Pentagon and it well and truly should shake your confidence in the ability of the government to competently do anything. What other gross ineptitudes are out there that are protected by official secrecy?
One of the valid functions of government is defense – and caring for the living, as well as the dead, is a central task of the Department of Defense. Our defense budget this year alone will top $650 billion, $2000 per citizen, and yet the DoD could not find the time, money, and leadership to give a proper burial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Heads should roll over this, and the matter of burying our dead should not be a state secret.
Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, District One
260 Glenview Avenue
Valparaiso, FL 32580