Sergeant Dale R. Griffin returns home
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
President Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base early this morning, where he met with family members and paid his respects as the bodies of 18 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan were returned to the United States.
It was the president’s first trip to the Delaware air base, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead to return home. The trip was a symbolic one for Mr. Obama — intended to convey the gravity of his decision as he moves closer to announcing whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.
The overnight trip was not announced in advance.
October has been the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago, with at least 55 troops killed in action. This week alone, about two dozen soldiers have died in attacks and accidents. The bodies returning to Dover Air Force Base shortly after midnight included seven Army soldiers and three agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration who were killed when their helicopter crashed on Monday in rural Afghanistan. The bodies of eight soldiers killed in an attack on Monday also arrived on an Air Force C-17…
As the Commander-in-chief stood on the darkened tarmac and saluted, the flag-draped case was unloaded from the cargo plane in what the military calls a “dignified transfer,” as six soldiers in white gloves and camouflage fatigues carried the remains in precision. Mr. Obama and uniformed officers stood at attention as the case was placed in a white mortuary van parked nearby.
The transfer of the bodies — a solemn, 15-minute proceeding — took place after Mr. Obama spent nearly two hours meeting privately with several family members in the chapel of the Air Force base.
Incidentally, I don’t fault Bush for the way he handled this military grief. The political side – Yes. That was stupidity initiated by ethical cripples like Rumsfeld and Rove. But, the personal side – everyone has their own style, their own set of decisions made over time about how to handle death in its several social aspects.
Obama reinforced his respect for those who serve – as apart from politicians and ideologues.
The latter and their obedient toe-lickers, of course, will find one or another way to whine about this solemnity.
2 thoughts on “Obama pays his respects to returning war dead”
Wonder how the Republicans will distort this…
We all know how they will. Cripes, I could write their crap in my sleep it’s so unoriginal.