On Wednesday, the Senate approved Congressional Gold Medals for 13 US service members killed in the Kabul bombing in August.
The Congressional Gold Medal is an award presented by the United States Congress. It is Congress’s highest representation of national appreciation for outstanding achievements and contributions.
The practice of issuing gold medals to honor recipients started during the American Revolution. Later, the practice stretched to individuals from all walks of life and groups in the late 20th century.
The Senate took a vote after the House approved the medals last month. Now, the bill is on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
“Today, the United States Senate moved to recognize the courage, sacrifice, and service of the 13 brave young men and women who were killed in Afghanistan,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said in a press release. “During a pivotal point for our nation, they gave the last full measure for our freedoms. I look forward to the president honoring these American heroes and swiftly signing this bill into law.”
On August 26, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside the Abbey Gate of Kabul International Airport. A branch of ISIS, known as ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The attack happened while masses of Afghans desperate to flee Taliban control crowded outside the airport as the US raced to evacuate as many people as possible before the deadline. President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal from Afghanistan to be done by August 31.
An estimated 170 Afghan civilians died in addition to the 13 service members.
Honoring Those Who Died In The Line Of Duty
Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, 22
Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23
Marines Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20
Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20
Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20
Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20
Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22
Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, 31
Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23
Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23
Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22
Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20
Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25
“These 13 fallen warriors, along with many others, made the ultimate sacrifice. Each of them knew their duty, and they accepted the risks,” McClain said on the House floor on Monday.
“They knew the mission and valiantly forged ahead, helping hundreds to safety, overcoming their own fears when a suicide bomb attacked them and took their own lives.”
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