HONOLULU — In an emotional and solemn ceremony, the remains of dozens of presumed casualties from the Korean War were escorted by military honor guards onto U.S. soil on Wednesday, 65 years after an armistice ended the conflict and weeks after President Trump received a commitment from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their return.

The U.S. military believes the bones are those of U.S. servicemen and potentially servicemen from other United Nations member countries who fought alongside the U.S. on behalf of South Korea during the war. What is expected to be an exhaustive analysis and identification process will soon begin.

“Some have called the Korean War the ‘forgotten war.’ But today, we prove these heroes were never forgotten,” Vice President Mike Pence said at a ceremony welcoming the remains, which were flown from South Korea earlier in the day. “Today, our boys are coming home.”

Each container was accompanied by one Marine, one sailor, one soldier and one airman. They set them gently on risers lined up inside the hangar as Pence stood watching with his hand over his heart. Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, saluted. Some of the invited guests wiped tears from their eyes during the procession.

Sixteen other United Nations member countries fought alongside U.S. service members on behalf of South Korea.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said some remains could turn out to be those of missing from other nations. He said last week that the return was a positive step but not a guarantee that the bones are American.

“Whosoever emerges from these aircraft today begins a new season of hope for the families of our missing fallen,” Pence said. “Hope that those who are lost will yet be found. Hope that after so many years of questions, they will have closure.”

North Korea handed over the remains last week. A U.S. military plane made a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve the 55 cases.

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