Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'In Memoriam' stirs war debate

We recently began running the daily list of U.S. deaths in Iraq on Page 2A under the headline "In Memoriam: Casualties in Iraq.''

The decision to publish the Iraq deaths came after requests from readers who feel it is important to acknowledge the sacrifice our military men and women are making in the war. We agreed.

So did letter writer Dolores Sauer of Palmetto, who wrote:

Whether one agrees with the current administration's policies, or the lack of them, it is good to focus on the young men and women who currently serve and have given so much in this questionable war.

And Thomas Hannon, a Herald subscriber, thanked the paper for publishing the feature “on behalf of all of those whom have given their lives in the war in Iraq.”

But a caller over the weekend said it is "depressing'' to see the deaths each day. He didn't ask that we stop publishing the list, but suggested we use smaller type and give it less prominence.

War is never an easy subject for readers. Some feel we give Iraq too much coverage; others say the war should be on the front page more often. (A caller chastized me one day after Iraq failed to make 1A, asking, "Where is your conscience?'')

Too little? Too much? There's no happy middle ground when it comes to coverage of a war, including how we acknowledge the dead.

Jim

2 comments:

American said...

They died for us, it shouldn't be depressing for us to see who they are. We should be thankful someone is watching our back while we are home reading our newspaper, safe and sound.

A proud American mom said...

I was told by a co-worker just last week that we were "winning" the war...when asked why he answered that he could tell because it no longer made the news. The only reason it doesn't make the news is because the American public has grown tired of it and newspapers have bent to the public response. My son-in-law is due to be sent for a year and for the second time to Iraq...this time leaving his brand new baby girl. There are no "winners" in war and yes it is still going on. Just ask the thousands of men and women who are still there and serving on behalf of each and every one of you. The names of those lost should be front page news...each and every day so we don't forget what is going on half a world away and to keep us reminded of what they have sacrificed.