THE PUBLIC EYE

Last Rites of Fallen Soldiers Revealed

After 18 years of censorship, the media has been granted access to the somber ceremonies that return fallen soldiers to their families. Since the days of the first Bush administration, the ban had been in place that prohibited the media from covering the arrival of casualties of war in flag-draped coffins. President Obama reversed the policy, allowing the soldiers' families to decide whether the media can attend. The first person to have a public ceremony, Sgt. Phillip A. Myers, 30, of Hopewell, VA, was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday by an IED, according to the Washington Post. The training for the soldiers in charge of "the dignified transfer" is quite intense: one of the final exams requires that the trainee stand at attention for 90 minutes without batting an eye while superiors try to goad them into flinching through lewd jokes and silly songs.