President Biden and his wife, Jill, traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Sunday to honor the 13 US troops killed in the Kabul airport bombing last week. The Bidens met privately with the troops' families, CNN reports, then watched the transfer of the troops' remains from the base tarmac. Biden held his hand over his heart and appeared to shut his eyes in prayer as the flag-draped transfer cases were taken off a military aircraft and put in a vehicle. Biden has attended such transfers before, but this was his first as president, per the AP. The president called the troops, who were at the airport to assist with evacuations, heroes in a statement on Saturday. "Their bravery and selflessness has enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far," Biden said.
Before the transfers, Biden walked up the ramp into the C-17 for a prayer, per Axios. The silence of the transfers was broken only by the carry team's calls to "present arms," per CNN. After the movement, the remains are driven to the base mortuary, where they're prepared for burial. The plane's journey took the remains from Kabul to Qatar, then Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and finally to the Delaware base. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also witnessed the transfers Sunday. (The victims include a Marine who posted a photo of a baby in her arms at the airport.)