Published: Aug 09, 2011 5:27 PM EDT

The bodies of 30 American troops killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan are back on U.S. soil.

The 22 Navy SEALs and eight other service members travelled in death much they same way they did in life shrouded in secrecy. Cameras were not allowed at Dover Air Force base as the transport planes touched down or the remains unloaded because they are still mingled and unidentified. The Defense Department still has not confirmed the identities of those killed. Officially that's because there are so many, but others say privately it's because of their role in one of the military's secretive Special Operations Forces.

A ceremony today, including top civilian and uniformed personnel, plus some family members is also closed to the press.

The 30 Americans died when their Chinook helicopter was apparently hit by a rocket propelled grenade. The Taliban is claiming responsbility.

Family and friends continue to mourn their loss. Before the remains were flown home, there was a ceremony honoring the victims at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. The new top commander of Coalition Forces said in a statement about them, "In life they were comrades in arms and in death they are bound forever in this vital cause. We cherish this selfless sacrifice."

Commanders say despite the tragedy, their mission will not change.