President Joe Biden met military aircraft at Dover Air Base on Sunday for the dignified transfer of the remains of the 13 U.S. troops killed on August 26. The service members perished during a bombing attack at one of the gates into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The arrival of the remains of soldiers killed in action is referred to as a dignified transfer rather than a formal military ceremony so that grieving family members do not feel obligated to travel so soon after the death of their loved ones.
Several members of the families of the fallen soldiers were present as the flight from Germany arrived at the transfer. Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with them before the transfer.
Also in attendance were Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The attack at the Kabul airport was conducted by ISIS-K, or ISIS Khorasan, the name given to the Afghan presence of the Islamic State terror organization. A suicide bomber killed almost 200 Afghans in addition to the 13 U.S. military personnel. The American soldiers killed were working at or near the gate, providing security and processing persons attempting to enter the airport’s secure perimeter.
President Biden was immediately and roundly criticized after the dignified transfer because of his apparent detachment from the moment’s seriousness.
As military personnel saluted the remains of the fallen service members, Biden stared ahead with his hand somewhere near his heart. Although the transfer occurred outside on the tarmac at Dover Air Base, he covered his face with a COVID mask.
Several times during the transfer, Biden checked his watch as if he had no sense of the moment’s importance and was ready to get somewhere else.
President Donald Trump was interviewed by Stuart Varney Tuesday morning on the “Varney & Co.” show on the Fox Business Network and said that the image of Biden looking at his watch while standing before the caskets of American soldiers was a “disgrace.”
Trump added that the best thing that Biden could do is apologize to the American people and the world and that when Biden looked at his watch, it was like him saying, “Get me the hell out of here. I want to go home.”
No one knows if it was the time of day that Dr. Jill usually gives him his pudding or lines up his afternoon television schedule, but he certainly gave the impression that he would have instead been somewhere else.