This is a bit odd. The Pentagon has admitted that many of the "arrival ceremonies," in which the remains of fallen soldiers are carried in flag-draped coffins from the planes that brought them home, are actually an elaborate bit of funereal theater. In many cases, the remains have already been in the country for months. But for the benefit of the soldiers' family and loved ones, the remains are loaded onto a grounded plane, and then, a few hours later, are carried back off again.
Revealed: How Pentagon FAKED repatriation of fallen soldiers for years with phony ceremonies, decommissioned planes and bodies that had spent months in labs
Until now, [the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command] has allowed the public to believe that flag-draped boxes pulled from C-17 military planes contained the rediscovered dead from those countries. But the Pentagon acknowledged to NBC News Wednesday that, in fact, the remains had only just been removed from a lab at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu. Now, the events will be known as 'honor ceremonies.' 'The name changed because they've already arrived, technically,' Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Smith told NBC...
Helping further dupe attendees is the use of an airplane that many believed had actually just flown the remains home. A plane is towed to where the ceremony will take place prior to doors opening to the public. It is often a plane that can no longer even fly.