Skip to main content

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, has now been dead for nearly three weeks. His body has not been buried, though. Peter Stefan, the funeral director, has been desperately trying to find some cemetery, any cemetery, willing to bury Tsarnaev. He hasn't had any luck. Part of this is due to a justifiable hesitance from private cemeteries to potentially expose themselves to protests and vandalism. But that does not explain the public protests that have actually been staged over this. USA Today described the scene at one such protest outside the Worcester funeral home:

One sign read: "Do not bury him on U.S. soil." Several people drove by the funeral home Sunday and yelled, including one man who shouted, "Throw him off a boat like Osama bin Laden!"
This is a perfect storm for some of our most base instincts to reveal themselves: jingoism, superstition, paranoia, tribalism, bigotry. I understand the business concerns of private cemeteries. They are not to blame here. Over 100 out-of-state cemeteries actually have offered to bury the body. But it has not happened because "when he [Stefan] calls officials of the cities or towns involved, nobody wants the body." Cemeteries would have no doubt quietly accepted and buried the body if this were a mature and civilized society and they wouldn't have to fear some hysterical backlash. Stefan has personally received calls from people smearing him as "un-American" for having the nerve to carry out his job as funeral director even when the departed was a Terrorist.

So, forget the cemeteries. The story here is the sheer irrationality of the protesters and the cowardice of officials in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Even Ed Markey has lent credibility to this stupidity ("I think that the people of Massachusetts have a right to say that they do not want that terrorist to be buried on the soil of Massachusetts."). Cameron Smock, president of a Seattle funeral home, has been in the profession for 28 years and cannot recall anything like this ever happening. Wake Forest University professor Tanya Marsh, an expert in U.S. law on the disposal of human remains, called it "unchartered territory."

This is an embarrassment. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a permanent resident of the United States who spent the last decade of his life here. Burying the dead is "just what a civilized society does," as one Massachusetts funeral director put it (apparently finding it necessary to add that Tsarnaev "can't hurt anybody anymore"). It would be a sad indictment of our society if reason does not soon prevail here.

(Originally posted at www.justindoolittle.net)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, a gilas girl, Pat K California, Joe Bob, DeminNewJ, CJB, hester, Sparhawk, Timaeus, mndan, zed, Bob Love, mslat27, ltsply2, Matilda, hnichols, alain2112, boadicea, shanikka, abs0628, aitchdee, wader, Texknight, mrkvica, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, cph, RebeccaG, lcrp, Lilith, FlyingToaster, zerelda, lyvwyr101, Krum, Longwing, Vespertine, greycat, Simplify, Brooke In Seattle, Mikado, cris0000, Papagoose, Phil S 33, brentut5, peacestpete, poco, esquimaux, BachFan, 417els, Clytemnestra, VictorLaszlo, twigg, 4Freedom, Potus2020, ER Doc, onionjim, lynneinfla, ZenTrainer, cpresley, john07801, out of left field, camlbacker, david mizner, Cofcos, Matt Z, jayden, CT Hank, Wreck Smurfy, HappyinNM, mn humanist, Tchrldy, KJG52, Calamity Jean, TokenLiberal, petulans, luckylizard, Troubadour, legendmn, maggiejean, cadfile, Ripeness Is All, Glacial Erratic, earicicle, shopkeeper, dskoe, jfromga, Enzo Valenzetti, Nannyberry, The Jester, marsanges, Hoosier Al, Simple, tellthestories, I Lurked For Years, samanthab, melfunction, DrTerwilliker, Jane Lew, Colorado is the Shiznit, Hill Jill, zooecium, CoExistNow, Liberal Panzer, sethtriggs, SueM1121, tardis10, worldlotus, Calvino Partigiani, PhilJD, cjo30080, Miggles, Mentatmark, allergywoman, Mortifyd, Rejoinder, teachered, IndieGuy, The Lone Apple, s l o w loris, jan4insight, carolanne, radical simplicity, BradyB, Hammerhand, Silvia Nightshade, Panacea Paola, argomd, remembrance, Thornrose, Smoh, tampaedski, Batya the Toon, NT Toons, Dodgerdog1, Progressif, dream weaver, patbahn

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site