You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sea burial could be a space saver

Story Topics

"Navy resumes sinking of old ships" (Web, July 2) highlighted the United States' wastefulness, but in so doing pointed out an opportunity that may seem bizarre to some but beyond practical to others.

As most readers surely are aware, increasing numbers of World War II and Korean War veterans are dying. Arlington Cemetery and other national burial sites reportedly are being overwhelmed by this sad but inevitable reality. At the risk of appearing insensitive, I suggest that there may be a large number of Navy, Coast Guard, Marine and other service veterans who would consider burial at sea, perhaps in the berthing compartments of these surplus ships. This could be an acceptable alternative to burial onshore.

The environmental oversight folks predictably will be appalled at the suggestion, as will lawyers and other self-appointed gatekeepers and busybodies, but because we are wasting precious and strategic ferrous and nonferrous metals by sinking these ships at depths beyond recovery, why not use them to help with the problem at onshore burial grounds?

With a bit of careful research and consideration, it would seem that the logistical and ceremonial aspects of a mass burial at sea - in conjunction with a post-ceremony sinking of these vessels during gunnery and other training - could be accommodated with reasonable cost to the government and veterans while providing a tasteful and memorable experience for friends and relations. Ceremonies could be conducted onshore or on barges temporarily moored to the stricken ship. The later, distant live-fire training probably would not disturb the ship's final "crew."

Considering that government regulations require that "casketed remains" must be placed in water at depths of more than 600 feet, salvagers and divers would be discouraged from disturbing them.

JOHN LUCAS

Vienna, Va.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts