US President Joe Biden paid solemn tribute to the 13 service members who lost their lives during a terrorist attack that took place as the United States was completing its withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the two-year anniversary of the devastating event in a statement released on Saturday.
The attack, which occurred near the Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021, resulted in the deaths of 13 US service members, alongside the tragic loss of at least 170 Afghan civilians due to a bomb explosion.
“In remembrance today, Jill and I mourn for these 13 courageous American service members and the more than 100 innocent Afghan civilians who fell victim to the horrific terrorist attack at Abbey Gate,” Biden conveyed in his official statement.
He further acknowledged, “Numerous others sustained injuries and will bear the lasting effects of their wounds, as well as the harrowing memories of that fateful day.”
Biden’s handling of the Afghan withdrawal has garnered substantial criticism, particularly from Republicans. Senator Lindsey Graham publicly voiced his belief that Biden’s actions warranted impeachment during the tumultuous withdrawal phase.
Joining the nation in honoring those who lost their lives in the attack, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to announce his decision to have the flags at the US Capitol flown at half-mast.
“Two years ago today, we tragically lost 13 brave servicemen and women in Afghanistan,” McCarthy’s post on X conveyed.
He concluded, “I have ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in honor of these remarkable American heroes.”