As President Obama weighs difficult decisions about how to proceed in Afghanistan, in the early hours of the morning he saw the ultimate consequence of the war.
The president arrived at Dover Air Force Base just after midnight to witness the arrival and transfer of 18 Americans killed in action. Those 15 soldiers and three drug enforcement agents were among 55 Americans killed in October, making this the deadliest month since the war began eight years ago.
This year the Pentagon lifted the ban on media coverage of these transfers --the arrival of flag covered caskets.
During Vietnam, those caskets, carried across air fields and across our TV screens, were a haunting reminder of an ever-climbing death toll in a seemingly endless battle.
Now, the president will decide the policy. Whether or not to send thousands more soldiers into combat having witnessed the price of the hardest choice any president can make.
That's a page from my notebook.
I'm Katie Couric, CBS News
Watch Katie Couric's Evening News Report:
Watch CBS News Videos Online