I have written before about the US Sailors and Marines killed in Tripoli in 1804 while attacking the pirate fleet based there. Hence the line in the Marine Hymn, “to the shores of Tripoli.” What is fascinating about history is the changing perceptions of customs which occur as time moves on.
Descendants of the men killed in action want their remains repatriated to the US and they lobbied the Congress to do this which the Congress almost agreed to do until Sen. John McCain (no relation) blocked it. He did so because the Department of Defense thinks the bodies of the thirteen sailors and marines should stay in Tripoli. Says the US Navy in the Washington Post of 1 December 2011:
(Source: The Washington Post by Jason Ukman.)