United States fakes the return of its Vietnem War dead in ceremonies
THE US military has been faking repatriation ceremonies for dead American servicemen killed in Vietnam or the Second World War. The coffins paraded before the Press and the respectful veterans and weeping relatives contain soldiers’ remains that arrived weeks earlier to be processed in forensic labs and identified.
The remains are then sent back to the airports, loaded into coffins and draped in flags. The planes are old, disused rust buckets towed into position to make it look as though they’ve just landed.
On the tarmac a military official thanks attendees for “welcoming them home”. It’s a well-staged piece of theatre. America does not forget. American honours its dead.
The Pentagon has been engaging in this fakery for seven years. It says in a statement:
“Many times, static aircraft are used for the ceremonies, as operational requirements dictate flight schedules and aircraft availability.”
How’s that for respecting the fallen? You can be welcomed back a hero so long as it’s on schedule.
Only, this has hardly been a big secret.
In 2008, the Associated Press captioned the above photo thus:
A U.S. flag-draped casket is carried to a U.S. Air Force aircraft by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, JPAC, team of the U.S. military during a repatriation ceremony at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. On Tuesday, four remains believed to be those of U.S. military personnel transported back to the U.S. for final forensic testing.
We knew the remains were tested in the lab before burial.
The ceremony is a ritual display to bind the living. Do we really want to see how the remains are packaged for arrival in the lab?
Do the dead fighter’s family know the truth before the ceremony? Surely, they do.