DOVER AIR Pressure Base, Del. (AP) — In hushed reverence, President Joe Biden stood witness with grieving households Sunday below a grey sky as, just one by one, the continues to be of 13 U.S. troops killed in the Kabul suicide bombing have been taken out with solemnity from a military services aircraft that introduced them house.
The only sounds that could be heard during the mournful ritual of the “dignified transfer” were being the tranquil instructions of the honor guards in fight costume who carried the flag-draped instances, the hum of the C-17 plane that had transported the fallen and the periodic sob of the sorrowful.
Biden and his wife, Jill, achieved privately with household customers of these killed in the suicide assault in the vicinity of the Kabul airport right before the president turned the fourth commander in main in excess of two many years of war to stand at attention at Dover Air Pressure Base as the remains of the fallen from Afghanistan returned dwelling.
The lifeless ranged in age from 20 to 31, and arrived from California and Massachusetts and states in among. 5 were being just 20 — born not lengthy just before the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, that spurred the United States to invade Afghanistan in buy to topple al-Qaida and dismantle their Taliban hosts who ruled the country.
They incorporate a 20-12 months-old Maritime from Wyoming who had been expecting his initially little one in three weeks and a 22-year-old Navy corpsman who in his final FaceTime conversation with his mother confident her that he would remain protected simply because “my men obtained me.”
At their fatalities, the 13 youthful service associates have been on the floor for the U.S. coda to its longest war, aiding a chaotic evacuation of Us citizens and of Afghans who served the U.S. war hard work and are now fleeing the Taliban right after their return to energy.
“The 13 service members that we misplaced ended up heroes who manufactured the final sacrifice in support of our maximum American ideals and when conserving the lives of some others,” Biden said in a assertion Saturday. “Their bravery and selflessness has enabled extra than 117,000 individuals at threat to attain security so significantly.”
Biden held his hand above his heart and appeared to shut his eyes in prayer as just about every transfer circumstance was taken off the armed service aircraft and positioned in an awaiting auto.
Household associates of the fallen typically travel to Dover to be present for the return of the remains of their liked types to American soil. Thursday’s assault left so quite a few casualties that navy officials explained the Dover Fisher Dwelling, which the Defense Section offers for family members of the fallen, was not huge adequate to accommodate all the grieving family members, so some liked kinds stayed off foundation.
Biden was joined by quite a few top aides, such as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Gen. Mark Milley, and Secretary of Point out Antony Blinken. Eleven of the fallen assistance members’ people selected to make it possible for their transfers to be open to media coverage. Two many others took spot out of watch, but Biden was present for those people as nicely.
Biden’s a few most current predecessors as presidents all attended this sort of dignified transfers. It was Biden’s 1st time having section in the ritual as president, but he has been in this article prior to.
Later on Sunday, though getting a Hurricane Ida briefing at the Federal Crisis Administration Company in Washington, the president opened his remarks by telling staff that he experienced just come from Dover. “We satisfied with the people of 13 fallen heroes in Afghanistan who missing their lives in their support of our state and although we’re praying for the finest in Louisiana, let us maintain them in our prayers as properly.”
Biden attended a dignified transfer for two U.S. troopers killed in a suicide blast at Bagram Airfield in the final months of his vice presidency in 2016. In 2008, when a senator and at the request of the grieving family members, he attended just one for a soldier killed in a motor vehicle bombing in Iraq. Biden instructed CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he had to get permission from the Pentagon to show up at the transfer.
The 13 troops who died in Kabul have been the very first U.S. assistance members killed in Afghanistan considering the fact that February 2020. That was when the Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban that known as for the militant team to halt assaults on Americans in trade for a U.S. commitment to get rid of all American troops and contractors by Might 2021. Biden announced in April that he would have all forces out by September.
Eleven of the 13 Individuals killed were being Marines. One was a Navy sailor and 1 an Military soldier.
Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor, Robert Burns and Matt Sedensky contributed to this report.