Apr 29, 2005

A picture's worth a thousand words ...

Occasionally, I'll browse international news sites (Deutche Welle, Corriere della Sera) to get a different perspective on US/international news events or brush up on my Italian, which I hardly ever get a chance to speak anymore.

Anyway. I came across this article in the CDS about the Pentagon's recent release of photographs of flag-draped caskets, how it's a victory for the American public, etc. Scroll down to the last picture in the article, where it appears Navy soldiers are dumping a casket of their fallen servicemen into the sea. Is that what's happening? Is this what they do? I had no idea. Pretty morbid. But maybe that's just how I think.

5 comments:

Andy said...

Yes, I think this is pretty traditional -- the sailor's 'burial at sea'. When I was growing up, there were loads of war films on the TV every weekend, and I recall this happening in the 'war at sea' pictures. It always struck me as rather moving...that very final 'commital to the deep': usually the body would be wrapped up and covered with a flag, and be resting on a stretcher at the rail of the ship. The sailors would tip up the stretcher, and the 'mummified' body would slide off into the waves.

There's an echo of this in the first Alien film, when they put the John Hurt character's wrapped body in the airlock after the unfortunate chest-burster incident. The captain (Tom Skerritt) asks "does anyone want to say anything?", then punches the 'open airlock' button, and John Hurt is ejected into his spacey grave. Spooky.

red one said...

Yes, I thought burial at sea too. Though I thought it applied to civvy sailors rather than the navy.

Mags - I'm going to update my sidebar links at some point soon - mind if I add you?

cheers
RedOne

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, burial at sea is honorable thing to do for fallen sailors.

I didn't know u was Italian! How about that: An Italian California Polack. Gene pool oddities.

Mags said...

RedOne: Absolutely! And likewise! :D

Bostoday said...

Mags - great BLOG.
Talking of the international press, its quite eye opening to take a scan across the viewpoints in a cross section of major economy news outlets on a particular day. You note Spain, Germany, and obviously you do the US papers. Try taking a day when their is something of reasonable international note - say DAVOS summit, or Nelson Mandela's son dying of AIDS, then see the various national perspectives across France, Australia, Japan, Germany, etc.....

Very Enlightening.