Bill McClellan, Columnist For ST.Louis Dispatch Calls For End To Some Military Funeral Honors

We received a lot of emails and wall posts concerning the column posted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch by Bill McClellan. His column, posted yesterday, is titled “One Last Call To Service – End Military Funeral Honors”.

According to Bill, he wrote the article after he was approached by a bugler who played Taps at Military Funerals, but were replaced with an automated device because it was cheaper. But this was not the controversial part of Mr. McClellan’s article. The part that landed him a ton of ridicule was this ….

Both the federal government and the state government are broke. So why are we providing military funeral honors for all veterans? It is a nice gesture we can’t afford.

Certainly, men and women killed in combat deserve full military honors. It’s a way for the country to say, “We honor the memory of those who died in our service.” These military honors — and the thought behind them — are intended to provide some solace for the families of the fallen.


But what about the guy who spends a couple of years in the military and then gets on with his life? Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died. In fact, it seems generous enough to provide veterans and their spouses with free space and headstones at a national cemetery.

Why not let the veterans organizations provide military honors at the funerals of their members? If a person gets out of the Marine Corps and wants to stay connected, he can join the Marine Corps League. I’m sure the 101st Airborne has an association. In a more general vein, we have the American Legion and the VFW.


Providing military honor funerals for their members would be a boon to these organizations. Membership would presumably climb, and veterans who want the military funerals could still get them.


Everybody knows government needs to cut costs.

This is exactly how you do it. You identify things you don’t need, and you cut them. Maybe they’re nice things, but if you don’t need them, you cut them. Admittedly, this program is a small item, but as you go through the massive budget, you look for lots of small items. You try to trim big things, but that doesn’t mean you overlook little ones.

Dropping these military funeral honors would not be a slap in the face to veterans. If these honors are important to a person, he or she can join a veterans organization.


You can view the article in its entirety here – One Last Call To Service – End Military Funeral Honors

McClellan was interviewed on Fox news due to the controversy, but he stuck to his guns and believes Military Honors should be cut from the budget for those that do not die in combat. And that it should be given to local Veterans organizations to conduct the Military Honors.

Read the complete article linked above, as some of his points previous to the controversial excerpt we posted, are valid.




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