After 18 Years, Citizenry Witnesses Return of War Dead

The family of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers, 30, authorized news media coverage of the return of Myers' body from Afghanistan. The coverage was the first of its kind of 18 years.

The first president Bush instituted a ban on coverage of returning caskets after he was embarrassed on television following the invasion of Panama, by coffins. Barack Obama asked that the ban be reviewed; Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who oversaw the review, had previously expressed discomfort with the ban.

Myers, who had previously been awarded a Bronze Star for bravery, was killed April 4 by an improvised explosive device near Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The return of his body to Dover Air Force Sunday night was covered by the Associated Press and New York Times, among others.

(Picture: AP)