President Joe Biden released a statement on the two-year anniversary of a terrorist attack on U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan during their withdrawal from the country, according to a White House press release.
On Aug. 26, 2021, 13 American servicemembers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside Kabul International Airport, which was the hub for evacuating Americans, allied nationals and eligible Afghans.
Biden, who was widely criticized at the time for his decision making in the midst of the withdrawal, released a statement on Saturday commemorating the fallen, according to a White House press release.
“Today, Jill and I remember and mourn these 13 brave American service members and the more than 100 innocent Afghan civilians who were killed in the horrific terrorist attack at Abbey Gate,” the press release stated. “Many more were injured and will carry the impacts of their wounds and the horrors of that day for the rest of their lives.”
Biden has been criticized by the families of the servicemembers who were killed, who claim that his leadership was the reason for their deaths.
“The administration failed us,” said Paula Knauss Selph, the mother of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Christian Knauss, who was killed in the attack, according to NewsNation. “Words are not enough. Action, such as what my son and others were doing on the field, is what we expect in Congress and this executive administration,” she added.
“Our leaders, including the Secretary of Defense and our Commander in Chief, called this evacuation a success as if there should be a celebration,” said Christy Shamblin, the mother-in-law of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole Gee, who also died in the attack, NewsNation reported.
“It is like a knife in the heart for our families,” she said. “I would say he needs to resign,” said Carol Briseno, the mother of Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, who was killed, to The Daily Caller.
One of the victims was Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, aged 20. McCollum’s death attracted particular attention as his wife was eight months pregnant at the time, with his daughter being born less than one month after his death, the Marine Corps Times reported.
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