Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama Honors Fallen Troops at Dover

From the Washington Post, "Obama in Dover as Fallen Troops Arrive Home":

President Obama made a solemn pre-dawn visit to this military outpost Thursday to honor 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan earlier this week.

Obama--who is deliberating over how to reshape his war strategy in the face of growing violence and political unrest in Afghanistan and deepening public unease at home--left the White House by helicopter just before midnight on Wednesday, flying through the crisp night sky to pay homage to the fallen as their remains were flown back into the United States.

Marine One came to a halt just behind the military transport plane that brought the remains of 15 soldiers and three Drug Enforcement Agency agents killed in two different incidents Monday and Tuesday.

Wearing a suit and a topcoat, Obama was greeted by the airlift wing commander before getting into car for the short drive to a base chapel, where he met with family members of the deceased.

Afterward, the president took part in the military's precise, solemn transfer of the cases holding the bodies of the fallen from the plane to the vehicles that would transport them to a base mortuary.

Four times, Obama marched up the ramp of the transport plane and bore witness as Maj. Richard S. Bach, an Air Force chaplain, offered a prayer over the remains. Afterward, he joined other officials, including Attorney General Eric C. Holder, standing at attention and saluting. The officials held their salutes during the silent transfer, as a six-person Army carry team wearing fatigues, black berets and white gloves moved the flag-draped cases holding the bodies to a white mortuary van.

The carefully choreographed visit to Dover, the nation's entry point for U.S. military personnel killed in action, brought Obama face-to-face with the grimmest realty of war as his administration mulls the best way forward in Afghanistan.
See also, "Obama Considering Scaled-Down Afghan War Plan." Plus, "A Resignation in Afghanistan Reverberates."


Cargosquid said...

Honor the troops, my butt. It was a photo op. If he truly wanted to honor the troops, he wouldn't need a camera.