Washington — President Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Friday attended the dignified transfer of the remains of three U.S. soldiers who were killed in anlast weekend.
The president, first lady, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff C.Q. Brown met with the families of the fallen soldiers at Dover Air Force Base, before observing the somber transfer of the bodies returning home from abroad.
Thekilled in the attack were Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46; Sgt. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24; and Sgt. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23. All three were from Georgia.
The strike on the facility in Jordan, known as Tower 22, also injured dozens of U.S. service members. The U.S. has blamed an Iranian-backed militant group based in Iraq for the attack.
Mr. Biden has said he has decided how to respond to the strike, although he hasn’t publicly telegraphed his intentions. U.S. officialson Thursday that plans have been approved for a series of strikes over a number of days against targets — including Iranian personnel and facilities — inside Iraq and Syria.
“This is a dangerous moment in the Middle East,” Austin, the defense chief, said Thursday. “We will continue to work to avoid a wider conflict in the region, but we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our interests and our people, and we will respond when we choose, where we choose and how we choose.”
A dignified transfer is the process by which the remains of fallen military members are transferred from an aircraft to a vehicle so they can be taken to a mortuary facility. From there, the bodies are prepared for their final resting place and placed in caskets. The U.S. military stresses that dignified transfers are solemn events, not ceremonies.
David Martin contributed to this report.
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