The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

My husband just stumbled across this extremely upsetting article on the BBC News website about 274 US troops whose remains were disposed of in a landfill between 2004 and 2008.  Yes, you read that correctly: a landfill.  Although this practice has been halted, the Dover Air Base mortuary was doing this with incinerated partial remains as recently as three years ago.  The Dover base is the main port of entry for most US troop remains re-entering the US.

The Washington Post broke this story about a month ago, and since investigations have been done, it seems that an additional 1,762 unidentified remains were also disposed of in this fashion.  A federal investigation has turned up gross mismanagement and disrespectful treatment of remains.  According to the Post article, many of the remains were incinerated along with other “medical waste” and transported to a Virginia landfill.

This story breaks my heart.  Can you imagine?  Your sister or husband or brother gets sent to Iraq, gets killed in combat, and the Air Force sends them home to be cremated and disposed of in a damn landfill?!  I ask, where is our government’s respect for what it claims to be its most honored citizens?  Why are some of them buried at Arlington and others sent to a dump?  That, right there, should tell us exactly how much the lives of citizens mean to the US government: roughly the same as a used Coke can.

Our vets deserve proper burials.  There is no excuse whatsoever for this lack of oversight by the Air Force.  What more proof do we need that our people are over there, dying in vain and getting no thanks at home?  It looks like there is a new Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but there is no honor guard and no salute, no adoring crowd, and no one to take pictures or tell their story.  This, my friends, is a real epitaph to war.

It seems our military and government have forgotten that all unknown soldiers deserve respect and dignity.


About The Lady Libertarian
I am American, currently expatriated but hopeful about getting back home one of these days. Besides reading and writing about politics, I enjoy camping, sailing, canoeing, making pie, and traveling. I hope you'll enjoy this blog and find it informative and accessible.

2 Responses to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

  1. Beth says:

    Really, really sad.

  2. This story made me sick. This is what soldiers get for serving now, apparently.

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