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The casket carrying the remains of 45-year-old Los Angeles police SWAT officer and Marine reservist Robert J. Cottle is carried in a mule-drawn funeral wagon to services at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on April 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Cottle and fellow Southern California Marine, 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, of Yorba Linda, died when the armored vehicle they were in struck an improvised explosive device in the Marja region of Afghanistan during a US-led offensive against Taliban forces in the region. Cottle leaves behind a wife and a 9-month-old daughter and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
LAPD Officer Robert Cottle was killed last month in Afghanistan while on Marine Reserve duty. Yesterday a funeral procession moved through downtown Los Angeles, closing streets, backing up traffic and raising questions. Honoring slain officers is one thing, but at what cost? And why is one officer’s death – or one soldier’s death – more worthy of this kind of expenditure than another’s?