This young Marine, his family and friends deserved better. They deserved to remember their son, their friend, their fellow-Marine, as he lived rather than through the lens of a media team more interested in furtherance of their own aims than of common decency. Now the man has been forgotten for the news story. And the terrorist enemies who caused this casualty should not have their works widely distributed internationally -- surely to be used as propaganda.
Many news organizations understood this, and, in respect and compassion, chose not to run the photograph. I am thankful for their sense and restraint. Nevertheless, this is a test which more than 20 news outlets failed.
The grimness of war is something we all need to be consistently reminded of -- teaching us about the sacrifices of the few who, on our behalf, defend our freedoms as we go about our daily lives. These stories, and the courageous individuals behind them, must never be forgotten, nor should the horrors they endure be lightly pushed aside.
In this instance, however, the worldwide distribution of an image of an American hero as he passes to his Creator is something far too graphic and, moreover, intrusive to pass the test of responsible journalism -- and that of responsible human behavior.