The War Dead

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The Associated Press reports that as of Wednesday, at least 4,251 members of the U.S. Military have died in the Iraq War. At least 584 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. In the coming weeks, for the first time since 1991, the families of any future war dead will have the option of having photographs taken of the coffins when they arrive home at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

After years of a federal ban on such photos, which was put under review by President Obama, the decision to photograph any individual coffin will now be made “by those most directly affected, on an individual basis, by the families of the fallen,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday. “We ought not presume to make that decision in their place.”