News blackout lifted on pictures of returning US war dead


For the first time in 18 years, the US media yesterday witnessed the arrival home of a coffin bearing the remains of a soldier killed in a foreign war, marking the end of the long ban on news coverage of returning American war dead. After receiving permission from family members, the military opened Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the media for the return from Afghanistan of the body of Air Force Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers. The 30-year-old airman was killed on April 4 near Helmand province, Afghanistan, when he was hit by a blast from an improvised explosive device. Sergeant Myers’s family was the first to be asked under the new Pentagon policy whether it wished to have media coverage of the arrival of a relative at the Dover base, the entry point for US personnel killed overseas. The family agreed, but declined to be interviewed or photographed.