Joe Biden to pay respects to U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan
Image via AP.

Joe Biden
“The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice."

President Joe Biden embarked on a solemn journey Sunday to honor and mourn the 13 U.S. troops killed in the suicide attack near the Kabul airport as their remains return to U.S. soil from Afghanistan.

Biden and his wife Jill traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet privately with the families of those killed and then attend the “dignified transfer” of the fallen troops, a military ritual of receiving the remains of those killed in foreign combat. They left the White House for Dover on a misty, overcast morning.

The dead ranged in age from 20 to 31, and came from California and Massachusetts and states in between. They include a 20-year-old Marine from Wyoming who had been expecting his first child in three weeks and a 22-year-old Navy corpsman who in his last FaceTime conversation with his mother assured her that he would stay safe because “my guys got me.”

Five were just 20, born not long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that spurred the United States to invade Afghanistan in order to topple al-Qaida and dismantle their Taliban hosts who ruled the country.

At their deaths, the 13 young service members were on the ground for the U.S. coda to its longest war, assisting a chaotic evacuation of Americans and of Afghans who helped the U.S. war effort and are now fleeing the Taliban after their return to power.

“The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others,” Biden said in a statement Saturday. “Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”

Family members of the fallen often travel to Dover to be present as flag-draped transfer cases are taken off the transport plane that returns them to American soil.

Aside from the quiet commands of honor guards who carry the transfer cases, the short prayers of the chaplain typically are the only words spoken during the ritual.

Like his three most recent predecessors as presidents, who all attended dignified transfers for troops killed in the nearly 20-year-old Afghanistan war, Biden is expected to meet with the families of the fallen before returning to Washington.

It will be the first time that Biden has traveled to Dover as president for such a movement. But he is not unfamiliar with the ritual.

Biden attended a dignified transfer for two U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide blast at Bagram Airfield in the final months of his vice presidency in 2016. In 2008, while a Senator and at the request of the grieving family, he attended one for a soldier killed in a car bombing in Iraq. Biden told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he had to get permission from the Pentagon to attend the transfer.

The 13 troops who died in Kabul were the first U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan since February 2020. That was when the Donald Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban that called for the militant group to halt attacks on Americans in exchange for a U.S. commitment to remove all American troops and contractors by May 2021. Biden announced in April that he would have all forces out by September.

Eleven of the 13 Americans killed were Marines. One was a Navy sailor and one an Army soldier.

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Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


7 comments

  • Impeach Biden

    August 29, 2021 at 9:32 am

    He’s going to get an earful from some of the families. As he should.

  • Tom

    August 29, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I’m glad POTUS is attending as he should do so.
    Not sure why it was kept such a secret 24 to 48 hours in advance. Not necessary.

    In light of this disastrous effort we now have 13 Americans in total who have lost their lives. He owns this mess now. Period.

    The Commander in Chief should be in attendance. Period; end of story.

  • Tom

    August 29, 2021 at 10:00 am

    POTUS should be in attendance. Period, why it took so long to announce it is another story. It should have been announced 24 to 48 hours in advance. We all wanted out but not like this.

    Regardless, this POTUS now owns this debacle of an exit the last 9 months. I’m glad he’s attending to pay proper respects. Least he could do. This is totally on him but could have been prevented. May they Rest In Peace.

  • Zhombre

    August 29, 2021 at 11:12 am

    A “feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap” in the words of the mother of one slain Marine.

  • Alex

    August 29, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Where’s our fearless Governor?

    Ever since the Judge bitch slapped him on his unconstitutional overreach endangering kids lives idiocy he’s been silent.

    Hopefully Harvard will apologize to Florida and revoke his JD for professional misconduct.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 29, 2021 at 1:12 pm

      DeSantis did serve, unlike Biden and probably you. DeSantis is not the CIC, that clueless, dementia ridden geezer is, that’s why he should be there. His plan was flawed and he will hear about it from the soldiers loved ones.

    • Tom

      August 29, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      Your ignorance runs you over you pathetic AleX. Again, the Governor gave all “Parents” the ability to decide for child. He didn’t ban masks. It’s the dictatorial schools boards that wish to hammer all kids. I understand the concern for some special needs or kids who may have health concerns.

      As for you Alex, there is no excuse.
      You love to change subject and attack Gov Ron. This POTUS owns Afghanistan now. BTW, this debacle is worthy of impeachment discussion. Not the B.S. stuff spoon fed by Pelosi.

      Governor will likely appeal.we
      We will see how it goes.

Comments are closed.


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