Nightly News   |  August 09, 2011

Obama pays respects to fallen soldiers

NBC’s Tom Costello joins Brian Williams from Dover, Del. where President Obama presided over an arrival ceremony for the bodies of 30 U.S. servicemen killed in the shoot-down of a Chinook helicopter this past weekend.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Here in this country, President Obama presided over a private military arrival ceremony for the bodies of 30 US servicemen killed in the shoot down of that Chinook twin rotor helicopter this past weekend. NBC 's Tom Costello with us from Dover , Delaware , tonight. Tom , good evening.

TOM COSTELLO reporting: Hi, Brian. It was a somber and really a heartbreaking day here at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware . It was just after 10 AM this morning when the remains of these 30 US servicemen and eight Afghan nationals arrived here on two Air Force C-17s . President Obama arrived soon after to pay tribute to them and participate in the military's dignified transfer proceedings. He then met for a few hours in private with several hundred family members and members of the military. There are no photos of the flag-draped remains out of respect for the families, as the family must still -- as the military, rather, must still identify everyone lost in the attack and the crash. That painstaking process will be the job of mortuary specialists at Dover , and likely to take several days. But, Brian , we are told that this was an extraordinarily sober, poignant and really a heartbreaking day for everyone involved. Deeply moving is how we are told the people reacted. Back to you.

WILLIAMS: Tom Costello at Dover Air Force Base for us tonight. Tom , thanks.