How Bush has stayed away from soldiers' funerals
By Andrew Buncombe
Independent" -- - More than 2,290 US troops have been
killed in Iraq. President George Bush has attended none of the
funerals - for which he is often criticised by the families of those
who have died.
Nadia McCaffrey's son Patrick, 34, a member of the Californian
National Guard, was killed during an ambush in Iraq in June 2004.
She said she had not expected Mr Bush to attend her son's funeral in
person but thought the government would send someone.
"It's not just me. Many, many people say the same thing," she said,
speaking from her home near San Francisco. "He was my only child,
but it was not only that. Patrick did not want anything from the
military. He joined up out of patriotism. I would have thought
that... somebody could have come. Nobody showed up."
The White House said that as Mr Bush could not attend every funeral,
it would be wrong to pick just one. He has met the families of
But critics say his behaviour gives the impression he is out of
touch. The President has also been criticised for refusing to allow
the media to photograph soldiers' coffins being flown back from
The directive was introduced in early 2003. An official said: "We
don't want the remains of our service members who have made the
ultimate sacrifice to be the subject of any kind of attention that
is unwarranted or undignified."
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