Support U.S. troops by honoring those who die


“Support our Troops” is a phrase that no longer needs mention in this country, as the ideal has become one of the golden tenants of new-American patriotism – a nationalistic effort enacted, presumably, the day the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

This statement is undeniably agreed upon – to the extent the creed has been printed on every type of magnet, flag and T-shirt imaginable, and donned by Americans and naturalized citizens of all types.

If this is the case – if we truly “Support our Troops” – then the question must be asked: Why is it that the photographs of American soldiers’ caskets are banned from public viewing?

Isn’t recognizing the ultimate sacrifice human beings can make for their country keeping with the patriotism so whole-heartedly supported?

While the law bans the presentation of photographs depicting the caskets of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, it doesn’t forbid mental images.

Imagine thousands upon thousands of caskets lined up one after the other in a militaristic formation in which the soldiers once stood. The soldiers are forever contained in those simplistic boxes, never to be seen by those they sacrificed for.

These are men and women who led lives similar to ours, some of whom attended UNF, and are now lives lost in a war fought for the maintenance of our “freedoms.”

It is generally known that these people deserve unwavering respect and recognition for their sacrifice, which is why the term “Support our Troops” becomes a necessity.

Therefore, we must define the bounds of this statement and how it applies to the viewing of the caskets.

“Supporting our Troops” entails taking a concerted effort to inform ourselves about the situation our brothers and sisters are encountering on a daily basis. War does in fact kill people – more than 4,100 to be precise – and many times it takes the lives of our own.

By showing pictures, perhaps we might come to the realization that a soldier’s death is not simply a means to an end of a war in shambles.

In complying with the government’s ban of the release of these photographs, we are ultimately denying the reality of what is happening across the world and in hypocrisy, contradicting the efforts of the people we jump to support when the time is right.

While repeating the phrase “Support our Troops” and simultaneously claiming insensitivity to images of war, we are essentially committing the fallacy of selective-observation, repeatedly counting “hits,” and totally forgetting the “misses;” the misses amounting to more than 4,100 lives.

In allowing the release of such pictures, a greater understanding of the war can be envisioned. Perhaps then those who truly support their troops will get the proverbial picture.

E-mail Fatima Hussein at [email protected]