Why we bury war dead the way we do

WWI letters point up "final resting place" disagreement

Eye on Veterans
April 10, 2018 - 9:08 am

Photo courtesy Library of Congress

By now the system is so well-developed we take it for granted.

There was a time, though, when views varied about where to bury American service members who died overseas.  Decisions made during World War I led to today's accepted practices.

Historian Tracy Fisher has studied hundreds of WWI-era letters exchanged by families of the fallen and military and government leaders.  She told Eye on Veterans that it came down to deciding whether to bury American war dead where they fell, return them home to loved ones, or gather their remains in U. S. national cemeteries.


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