February 1, 2010  

Dover haven

TO THE AIR FORCE for establishing a center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where families can wait to receive the remains of loved ones killed in war. Every service member killed in war comes to the U.S. through Dover’s Port Mortuary and the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center. The new Center for Families of the Fallen was created at the instigation of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who said the service could do better than the cramped chapel that was the only facility available to the families awaiting news of a plane’s arrival. Schwartz was right, and though the Air Force and the Pentagon should have addressed this earlier, this is truly a case of better late than never. The new center is beautifully appointed with private rooms, a children’s room and a meditation room. It is a dignified and proper haven for relatives as they endure a most harrowing journey.