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Biden Receives Bodies of Service Members Killed in Kabul Attack

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden salute during the dignified transfer of the remains of U.S. Military service members who were killed by a suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., August 29, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

President Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base on Sunday for the dignified transfer of the remains of the 13 U.S. service members killed in an attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

The remains of the service members were flown to the U.S. from Germany on Sunday morning, with a number of family members present for the transfer. The president and first lady Jill Biden met with family members just prior to the transfer.

The arrival of fallen servicemen in the U.S. is referred to as a “dignified transfer” instead of a ceremony so that family members do not feel obligated to attend, although they may do so if they wish.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley were also present.

“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 on Saturday.

The service members were killed along with close to 200 Afghans in an attack Thursday by ISIS Khorasan, the terror group’s central Asian affiliate. A suicide bomber affiliated with the group detonated an improvised explosive device outside the airport’s Abbey Gate, killing and maiming the Afghans awaiting entry to the airfield and the Marines admitting them, who were preparing to frisk the bomber.

The attack marked the deadliest single day for American troops in the war in Afghanistan since 2011.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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