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How would you explain “mortuary affair” in the context?

We both knew what that was. There are few real mysteries in life. The body would be flown to Kuwait, where it would be mended and embalmed as best it could by mortuary affairs. It would land in Germany, tucked into a stack of plain metal caskets as the plane refueled. It would land in Dover, and someone would receive it, with a flag, and the thanks of a grateful nation.

How would you explain “thirty seconds too far in the distance” in the second to last sentence?
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For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    "Mortuary affairs" is likely a department in the military that has morticians in charge of preparing the bodies of dead soldiers for release to the family and next of kin. As casualties of war, some of the bodies must be severely damaged and must be "mended" and "repaired" to be as presentable (to family members and loved ones) as possible.

    The mortuary is where dead bodies are stored."Mortuary affairs" is the military department that handles preparing the body for transport.

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