Papers Increasingly Note Antiwar Views in Covering Funerals of the Fallen

Editor and Publisher

In a departure from past policies, newspapers around the country, with the U.S. death toll in Iraq again soaring, increasingly are reporting the antiwar sentiments of family members of the deceased in their coverage of funerals. The latest example comes from the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader on Sunday.

It concerns the funeral of Lance Cpl. Chase Johnson Comley. The story notes that “in a departure from the norm in Kentucky — one of the reddest of red states — some of Comley’s relatives, including a few sitting in the front pews, have spoken out strongly against the Bush administration and the war that took the 21-year-old Marine’s life.”

Comley’s grandmother, 80-year-old Geraldine Comley of Versailles, described herself as a former Republican stalwart who is “on a rampage” against the president and the war.

“When someone gets up and says ‘My son died for our freedom,’ or I get a sympathy card that says that, I can hardly bear it,” Geraldine Comley said. She added that she would like nothing better than to join Cindy Sheehan, who has been holding a protest outside President Bush’s ranch in Texas.

Her daughter, Missy Comley Beattie, also was critical of Bush and the war in a column she wrote for Friday’s Herald-Leader.

“I’ve never seen my father cry, but I’ve heard him cry this week,” she said in an interview. “And he will look at the picture of Chase that’s on their hearth and say ‘George Bush killed my grandson.'”

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