Censorship vs. respect
Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard died while serving his country ("Death of a Marine," article, Sept. 4).
His family is going through the pain of losing their loved one, and Marines are mourning the loss of a comrade. The parents of this fallen Marine, as well as the secretary of defense, asked The Associated Press for the photo taken in Bernard’s dying moments not to be published.
Their request was not to infringe on anyone’s First Amendment rights. They did not ask to change a story or to alter the factual events that led to Bernard’s death. They asked for a photo not to be used to possibly ease their pain or possibly not to have the memory of their son linked to this photograph of his last moments. Their request was not a question of censorship but a question of respect, and The Associated Press did not show any.
Does society need a picture to understand what sacrifices are being made by their military services? The news is filled with statistics of deaths and how and where military members are being wounded or killed.
Society is well-informed on what takes place in our current war. There are countless embedded reporters who write stories and take photographs. History is being documented. Does this one photo impede the "visual history" or, by withholding the photo, ill serve society?
I believe this type of photograph creates shock and awe and controversy, and thus, sells newspapers.
Master Sgt. Timothy DeColaCamp Leatherneck, Afghanistan