Censorship: pictures of dead American GIs should not be seen in the media

By Christina Cimmino
October 20, 2006

Picture this. You wake up in the morning, turn on the television or open up the morning newspaper, and there it is.

It’s a grotesque and gory picture of an American soldier dead because he was killed in action. Would you really want to see that ever? I know that I definitely wouldn’t.

It’s one thing when there are movies made, people are killed in them, and people are able to watch that because they know it’s not for real. What happens though, when it’s real life and it’s your brother, sister, wife, husband, son or daughter? Right there – dead for the entire world to see. Is there a line that the media could cross?

The media hasn’t been able to show a picture of a dead American soldier yet, but what if they got the chance to? Would they? At one point or another, everyone has sat in a history class and learned about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Does the first amendment, which includes freedom of the press, allow for the government to limit what we see in the wars in which the United States battle?

I understand that there are people all over the world in our military that are fighting for my freedom and the freedom of everyone else that lives in this country. I know that many things go on overseas that I will probably never have to be bothered with because other people have enough courage to face those situations that I cannot face. People volunteer for that and it’s their job. I don’t think that there is anything more challenging than being an American soldier and fighting for other people.

Out of respect for those individuals and the job that they have chosen, I don’t think that it is necessary for the media to have the chance to photograph a dead soldier and I don’t think that the right should ever be given to the media to do that.

I feel that even more people would lose interest in the war that we are fighting with Iraq if they saw the bloodshed that really occurred. Whenever I think of this sort of situation, I’m just completely reminded of the families who are sitting at home waiting for their loved ones to return to them.

Think of 9/11 when we were able to watch people jump out of those burning buildings to their death. Or how when we see the towers crumble down to the ground over and over again on the news, we are really watching hundreds of lives being lost.

How horrible it was to see the dead body of New York Fire Department chaplain, Father Mychael Judge, being carried out of the remains of the World Trade Center.

We have all turned on the news to see that soldier has died and we will probably see a coffin or a picture that was submitted to the press of that individual when they were alive. Frankly, that’s how I would want to remember someone, when they were ‘ just doing their job.’

No one should ever have the right to disrespect an individual or that individual’s family by making their death so public that I see it every time I turn on the news or open up a newspaper. There comes a point in time where movies can become real and its not entertaining to watch- it’s sick.

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Christina Cimmino

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