Dover Air Force Base is famous for the televised arrival of flag-draped coffins from foreign wars. After 9/11, the U.S. government accelerated plans for a new, 84,800-square-foot facility to receive the dead, allowing “efficient processing during mass casualty situations.” At such times, 500 staff can perform one hundred autopsies a day. The first caskets came from the Iraq War. Inside the glass barrel-vaulted lobby, a curved “wall of honor” commemorates “each event that has sent Americans through the facility.” With the opening of the new building, the arrival of coffins was no longer televised—to hide the true cost of war, critics charged.
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Dover Air Force Base Mortuary Facility
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