, Newburyport, MA

May 14, 2013

Bury bomber at sea

Newburyport Daily News

---- — Who in their right mind would ever want the body of a homicidal bomber buried in a cemetery in their town or state? Certainly not the citizens of Massachusetts, and now, it’s become clear, neither do the people of Virginia.

The ill-advised “resolution” last week to the dilemma over what to do with the body of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev solved nothing. It only took a problem that was haunting a Worcester funeral home and shipped it down the interstate highway 500 miles.

We think there is a better solution — we would prefer to see his remains interned in a place where they will never be found — the sea.

Tsarnaev’s body had been sitting in a Worcester funeral home for days, attracting a large crowd of protesters and causing undeserved headaches and costs for the city. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to take his body.

It fell to a Richmond, Va., woman to concoct what she thought was a great idea, but has proven to be a very bad plan. His body was quietly slipped out of Worcester and buried last week in a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Va.

“The body’s buried,” said Rusian Tsarni, the uncle of Tsarnaev and the only person willing to take responsibility for the body. “That’s it.”

Unfortunately, that’s not it. Civic leaders in Caroline County, Va., where Doswell is located, are outraged over the move. They didn’t want the body there and were never even asked if they wanted it.

“We feel the same way most of America feels,” said Floyd Thomas, chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors. “We’re very angry over the bombings.”

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Virginia Muslim leaders are unhappy with the decision, as well.

“The whole Muslim community here is furious. Frankly, we are furious that we were never given any information. It was all done secretly behind our backs,” Imam Ammar Amonette of the Islamic Center of Virginia told the Post.

It was an insensitive decision to make on behalf of the family and friends of others buried in that Doswell cemetery. A cemetery is a place to go to find solace and peaceful reflection, not a place to be confronted by such a needless controversy.

Someone in authority — perhaps our state government — should have gotten a clue from the United States government, which knew exactly what to do with the body of Osama bin Laden — bury it at sea. Far out at sea.

The sea, of course, is a no-man’s land, a place where there will be no shrine or memorial to the individual in question. The United States buried bin Laden’s body somewhere in the deep blue specifically so that it would avoid the kind of controversies that are starting to develop over Tsarnaev’s body.

Besides all the other security and image problems Virginia has now been saddled with, one never knows what kinds of kooks might consider this grave to be a “shrine” to a martyr.

We’ve just created that shrine.