Arlington gravestones for Iraq, Afghanistan troops include Pentagon slogans





Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.

Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.

The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.

Families are supposed to have final approval over what goes on the tombstones. That hasn't always happened.

\Gregory C. Sieminski, an Army officer writing in a 1995 Army War College publication, said the Pentagon decision to call the 1989 invasion of Panama"Operation Just Cause" initiated a trend of naming operations"with an eye toward shaping domestic and international perceptions about the activities they describe."



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