President Biden on Sunday attended the solemn transfer movement of troops killed in Afghanistan at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden met privately with the families of the U.S. service members killed during the ISIS-K attack at the Kabul airport last week, according to the White House. Mr. Biden’s meetings with the families were closed to reporters but the afternoon transfer movement was broadcast.
Alongside Mr. Biden at the transfer were Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other dignitaries. Mr. Biden’s group walked up the ramp into the C-17 Globemaster II aircraft and paused for prayer before taking a position outside the aircraft, according to reporters present.
Mr. Biden clasped his hand to his chest when the order came to “present arms” with each transfer case as the military officers saluted. He occasionally bowed his head and closed his eyes, but kept his eyes trained on the transfer cases as each one was moved to vehicles for transport.
It was Mr. Biden’s first time attending a transfer movement since serving as vice president, according to reports. The event finished shortly after noon when four vehicles carrying the transfer cases drove away.
The Defense Department identified 11 Marines, one soldier, and one Navy corpsman who died as a result of the Kabul attack. These service members included:
⦁ Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
⦁ Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
⦁ Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
⦁ Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
⦁ Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
⦁ Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
⦁ Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
⦁ Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
⦁ Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
⦁ Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
⦁ Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
⦁ Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
⦁ Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
The American people also paid tribute this weekend to the U.S. service members by gathering at memorials, restaurants, bars, and elsewhere to show their gratitude.
A vigil at the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday night attracted a large crowd. The crowd lit candles, signed cards for the fallen Marines, and sung the Marines’ Hymn.
Hundreds of attendees waited hours at the memorial after dark to pay their respects, said Kara Zupkus, Young America’s Foundation spokesperson, on Twitter.
Many Americans paid tribute by pouring out a final round of beer for the troops killed in Afghanistan at restaurants, bars, breweries, and other venues nationwide. The fallen troops were young and included five Marines too young to legally drink alcohol in the U.S.
Beer Army Gastropub in New Bern, North Carolina, closed its mezzanine section on Friday and poured out 13 beers next to American flags in a reserved section for the fallen troops, according to Buddy Bengel, former Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor and owner of the Morehead City Marlins collegiate summer baseball team.
Former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus tweeted a similar tribute from a bar in Treasure Island, Florida, that placed beers next to an American flag and a message praying for the families of the fallen troops.
• Ben Wolfgang contributed to this report.