President Joe Biden pays respects to the US troops killed in Afghanistan while executing the evacuation mission. Biden stood witness with mourning families Sunday under a gray sky while the remains of 13 US troops who died in the Kabul suicide bombing were solemnly moved from an aircraft that brought them home.
Before the ceremony, the President and First Lady met privately with family members of the troops killed in the attack.
Joe Biden became the fourth commander in chief over two decades of war in Afghanistan to stand at attention at Dover Air Force Base as the remains of the fallen returned home.
Those killed ranged in age from 20 to 31, and most came from California and Massachusetts. Five were just 20 years old. They were born not long before the attacks of September 11, 2001. An event that compelled the US to invade Afghanistan to topple al-Qaida and destroyed the Taliban hosts.
The five troops include a 20-year-old Marine from Wyoming who was expecting his firstborn in three weeks. A 22-year-old Navy corpsman told his mother in his last FaceTime conversation that he would stay safe. “My guys got me,” he said.
“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,” said Joe Biden. “Their bravery and selflessness have enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”
The attacks on Thursday left many casualties. The Dover Fisher House, a location the Defense Department provides for families of the fallen, was not large enough to accommodate all the mourning families. Therefore, some families had to stay off base.
11 of the 13 Americans killed were Marines; one was a Navy sailor, the other was an Army soldier.
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