Troubling Questions Over How to Mourn a Fallen Soldier

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Amid the carnage in Iraq in the past several days, including the deadliest single day for U.S. troops since the war began, both the United States and the Iraqi government have been confronted with troubling questions over the pageantry of mourning the fallen. In an uncharacteristically direct op-ed article, an Army sergeant stationed in Bagram took issue with the treatment given to the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, including all flags being flown at half-staff at the president's directive, when the same national attention is not given to fallen U.S. troops.

After a 10-year dispute, the Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the use of the Wiccan pentacle--a pre-Christian religious icon--on official tombstones of veterans whose families choose it.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is under fire from the U.N. for not being more forthcoming with civilian death toll statistics in the worsening humanitarian crisis in Iraq.