Burial at sea is routine for US Navy

By Pauline Jelinek

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 2 2011 5:10 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2010 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson maneuvers off the coast of Haiti. Senior U.S. officials said Monday, May 2, 2011 that Osama bin Laden's body was put aboard the USS Carl Vinson and then placed into the North Arabian Sea for burial.

U.S. Navy, Daniel Barker, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — The burial at sea of terrorist Osama bin Laden raised some eyebrows around the world, but for the U.S. Navy, it's a routine exercise.

The Navy says it commits to the sea an average of 20 deceased every month — veterans, retirees and other U.S. citizens.

Pentagon officials said Monday that bin Laden's body was placed in a "weighted bag." An officer made some religious remarks and his body was placed on a flat board and tipped into the sea.

The usual Navy burials at sea are similar, though include an honor guard that fires shots into the air and the playing of TAPS. For Americans who request such burials, U.S. vessels take the remains along with them and do the ceremony while the ships are on their scheduled deployments.

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