Bodies of Bombing Victims Head Home
LANDSTUHL, Germany (AP) _ The bodies of 10 Americans killed in the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya left Germany for the United States on Thursday accompanied by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The Air Force C-17 transport plane carrying the bodies took off from Ramstein Air Base about 12:15 a.m. EDT, headed for Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. There was a brief, private ceremony under an overcast sky at Ramstein just before takeoff, with about 70 people including a mixed honor guard of Marines, Army and Air Force. Albright made no statement before boarding the plane.
Albright visited Wednesday with some of those wounded in the bombing. After talking with nine patients in a U.S. military hospital for about an hour, Albright said, ``I told them we’d do everything to support them.″
She also thanked the hospital staff for doing what she called ``an amazing job here in raising their spirits.″
``I am bringing home very brave people and they deserve the support of the American people,″ she told reporters outside the hospital, a few minutes from the base in southwest Germany.
She also repeated the determination of the United States to find and punish those responsible for the blast in Kenya and an almost simultaneous bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. More than 250 people were killed and more than 5,500 wounded in the attacks.
Earlier Wednesday, six Air Force guards gently loaded the flag-draped coffin of one American killed in Nairobi onto a military aircraft for her final journey home.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sherry Lynn Olds was returning to her native Florida via Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Her coffin went back before the others at the request of her family.
The 12th American victim was to be buried in Kenya.
Seven wounded Americans also departed Ramstein Air Base on Wednesday for Andrews. One American and 12 Kenyans remained hospitalized in Germany.