Originally created 05/26/05

'Nightline' to again recite names of war dead



NEW YORK - ABC's "Nightline," which ignited a brief political battle last year with its decision to read the names of Americans killed in Iraq, will do so again this year.

Ted Koppel's news program will pay tribute to the more than 900 U.S. servicemembers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past year in a special Memorial Day broadcast Monday at 11:35 p.m., ABC said Tuesday.

"Nightline" will show photographs of each of the war dead as their names are read.

When "Nightline" devoted a 40-minute edition to reading the names of 721 Iraq war dead during an election year last year, the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group decided not to air it on its seven ABC stations.

Sinclair said the show appeared to be an anti-war message, an assertion ABC denied.

"Too often we simply report casualties in terms of numbers," said Tom Bettag, "Nightline" executive producer. "'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."