Fallen Troops Arrive In Dover, Attended By Obama

Aug 9, 2011
Originally published on August 9, 2011 3:53 pm
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris. President Obama's motorcade left the White House this morning in secret. A few hours later, his helicopter was flying through gray haze over Chesapeake Bay. It landed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The president traveled there to pay his respects to the service members who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports now from Dover.

ARI SHAPIRO: The Chinook helicopter crash over the weekend took the lives of 30 Americans. That's the most U.S. fatalities of any incident since the Afghan war began a decade ago. Sometimes, family members allow the media to bear witness to a specific loved one's homecoming. Here at Dover, it's called a dignified transfer ceremony. Public affairs officer Van Williams explained why there would be no audio or video of this ceremony today.

VAN WILLIAMS: The group today are unidentifiable, and that is because the crash that they were in was so horrific and the state of the remains - there was no easy way to look and see, this is this person, this is that person. They were all together.

SHAPIRO: Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.