'Nightline' to Remember War Dead
"The Fallen," a special version of ABC's "Nightline" with Ted Koppel, will feature the names and faces of American soldiers killed in
Koppel will read the names of more than 900 service members who have died in the last year while on duty in those countries.
"Nightline" produced similar programs last year. On
The upcoming "Nightline" special will include
"Just as it was a year ago, 'The Fallen' is about the men and women who have died in our names in
Koppel will read the names aloud as each soldier's photograph, name, military branch, age and rank are shown.
Viewers can already see the list of names "Nightline" has compiled for the special.
Last year's specials drew controversy. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns a handful of ABC affiliates, decided against airing the "Nightline" tribute in April to the war dead. Sinclair questioned both the show's political motivation and its timing. (It aired at the beginning of May sweeps—one of four annual periods in which a show's ratings help determine advertising dollars).
No broadcasting group has announced a pre-emption of this year's special. In fact, Sinclair has already issued a company statement announcing its support of this year's program.
"Unlike Nightline's reading of the names last year, which coincided with the start of the May ratings sweeps, we feel that this year's Memorial Day selection is the appropriate setting to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to keep all Americans safe and free," Sinclair said in its statement. "We thank our
"Nightline," meanwhile, continues to speak about the importance of the show's format and message.
"Too often we simply report casualties in terms of numbers," said "Nightline" executive producer Tom Bettag in the ABCNews.com story. "'The Fallen' is our way of reminding viewers, regardless of their feelings about the war, that the men and women who have given their lives in our behalf are individuals with names and faces."
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.