DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AP) — In hushed reverence, President Joe Biden stood witnesser with grieving families Sunday nether a grey entity as, 1 by one, the remains of 13 U.S. troops killed successful the Kabul termination bombing were removed with solemnity from a subject craft that brought them home.
The lone sounds that could beryllium heard during the mournful ritual of the “dignified transfer” were the quiescent commands of the grant guards successful conflict formal who carried the flag-draped cases, the hum of the C-17 craft that had transported the fallen and the periodic sob of the sorrowful.
Biden and his wife, Jill, met privately with household members of those killed successful the termination onslaught adjacent the Kabul airport earlier the president became the 4th commandant successful main implicit 2 decades of warfare to basal astatine attraction astatine Dover Air Force Base arsenic the remains of the fallen from Afghanistan returned home.
The dormant ranged successful property from 20 to 31, and came from California and Massachusetts and states successful between. Five were conscionable 20 — calved not agelong earlier the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that spurred the United States to invade Afghanistan successful bid to topple al-Qaida and dismantle their Taliban hosts who ruled the country.
They see a 20-year-old Marine from Wyoming who had been expecting his archetypal kid successful 3 weeks and a 22-year-old Navy corpsman who successful his past FaceTime speech with his parent assured her that helium would enactment harmless due to the fact that “my guys got me.”
At their deaths, the 13 young work members were connected the crushed for the U.S. coda to its longest war, assisting a chaotic evacuation of Americans and of Afghans who helped the U.S. warfare effort and are present fleeing the Taliban aft their instrumentality to power.
“The 13 work members that we mislaid were heroes who made the eventual sacrifice successful work of our highest American ideals and portion redeeming the lives of others,” Biden said successful a connection Saturday. “Their bravery and selflessness has enabled much than 117,000 radical astatine hazard to scope information frankincense far.”
Biden held his manus implicit his bosom and appeared to unopen his eyes successful supplication arsenic each transportation lawsuit was taken disconnected the subject craft and placed successful an awaiting vehicle.
Family members of the fallen often question to Dover to beryllium contiguous for the instrumentality of the remains of their loved ones to American soil. Thursday’s onslaught near truthful galore casualties that subject officials said the Dover Fisher House, which the Defense Department provides for families of the fallen, was not ample capable to accommodate each the grieving families, truthful immoderate loved ones stayed disconnected base.
Biden was joined by respective apical aides, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Eleven of the fallen work members’ families chose to let their transfers to beryllium unfastened to media coverage. Two others took spot retired of view, but Biden was contiguous for those arsenic well.
Biden’s 3 astir caller predecessors arsenic presidents each attended specified dignified transfers. It was Biden’s archetypal clip taking portion successful the ritual arsenic president, but helium has been present before.
Biden attended a dignified transportation for 2 U.S. soldiers killed successful a termination blast astatine Bagram Airfield successful the last months of his vice presidency successful 2016. In 2008, portion a legislator and astatine the petition of the grieving family, helium attended 1 for a worker killed successful a car bombing successful Iraq. Biden told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that helium had to get support from the Pentagon to be the transfer.
The 13 troops who died successful Kabul were the archetypal U.S. work members killed successful Afghanistan since February 2020. That was erstwhile the Trump medication reached an statement with the Taliban that called for the militant radical to halt attacks connected Americans successful speech for a U.S. committedness to region each American troops and contractors by May 2021. Biden announced successful April that helium would person each forces retired by September.
Eleven of the 13 Americans killed were Marines. One was a Navy sailor and 1 an Army soldier.