Friday, May 03, 2013
Boston Corpse Shaming
OK, boys and girls, in the how-provincial-can-you-get contest Boston remains a major competitor. When it comes to dishonoring the dead, we're down there with the worst.
Consider alleged and highly photographed Marathon terrorism suspect Tamelan Tsarnaev. Cops and his brother produced his corpse in Watertown, but the nasty remains went off to Dyer-Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Services, North Attleboro. They shipped it off to the gutsier Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester. They are not afraid of preparing and plugging controversial bodies, including gang members.
As owner Peter Stephan told the Telegraph, "“Our job is to bury the dead. Can we pick and choose the circumstances surrounding the person – be it their death or what they did? Everyone deserves a respectful burial.”"
Meanwhile of course Boston Herald writers and others are swarming like dung beetles and squatting like carrion birds. "Oh, they got welfare money!" "Lawdy, they are proof all immigrants should be turned back!" "God, condemn their souls forever and let us drag their bodies around the city behind garbage trucks!"
Forget the de mortuis nil nisi bonum crappolo, it's lynch mob time on the Charles. Any respect for the dead, for due process or other constitutional rights be damned.
This is not our first go at this either. A little less than a century ago, the most egregious parallel was Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco. These admitted anarchists were convicted — almost certainly falsely — of murder and put to death. For their families, that didn't end the anguish.
No funeral home would cremate the corpses and no Catholic cemetery would accept the remains. Finally, the WASPy haven, Forest Hills Cemetery agreed to burn the bodies and ship the ashes to the parents in Italy. On the way from the Langone funeral home in the North End, protesters were abetted by the Boston police in rioting, disrupting the transit and shaming the mourners. It was as disgraceful a day as the BPD has had before or sense.
Forest Hills staff had a similar attitude to the Worcester folk. Corpses have a sacred patina that deserves respect and expedience. The politics and self-righteousness of nasties are not relevant. Bless them.