President Barack Obama honored 30 U.S. soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan as their remains returned home on Tuesday in a private ceremony.
Obama and top military officials joined families in witnessing what the Pentagon called the “dignified transfer” of remains at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, home of the largest U.S. military mortuary.
A White House official said Obama, who flew to the Dover base shortly after midday, boarded each of the two huge C-17 aircraft holding the remains and paid his respects.
He then spent an hour and 10 minutes offering condolences to about 250 family members and armed service personnel. He was accompanied by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.