Congressman Cicilline Honors 13 U.S. Servicemembers Who Lost Their Lives at Hamid Karzai International Airport

Oct 26, 2021 Issues: The War in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) yesterday spoke on the House floor honoring the sacrifice of the 13 U.S. servicemembers who lost their lives during the bombing that killed more than 160 innocent Afghanis and American military personnel at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. The Congressman’s remarks came ahead of a full House vote on H.R. 5142, legislation to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to those 13 servicemembers – which passed unanimously.

 

 
The Congressman’s remarks, as delivered, are below.
 
“Mr. Speaker,
 
“As we mark nearly two months since the bombing that killed more than 160 innocent Afghanis and American military personnel at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, I rise in strong support of this legislation to award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. servicemembers that gave their lives that day.
 
“Those individuals – Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, [Cpl.] Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss.
 
“Mr. Speaker, as we recognize these extraordinary heroes, and also understand that this honor cannot come close to filling the void left by their loss, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of such a distinction.
 
“These brave servicemembers represent the very best of America – knowingly putting themselves in harm’s way to help evacuate thousands from the region – a true embodiment of the American spirit.
 
“Their legacies live on in the thousands of Afghan refugees they saved, who now have an opportunity to live lives free of violence and persecution.
 
“And so, as we remember these extraordinary American heroes and recognize them with the Congressional Gold Medal, let us all live lives worthy of their sacrifice and service to our great nation.
 
“I urge all my colleagues to vote yes and to join me in honoring these great American heroes.
 
“And with that, I yield back the balance of my time.”
 

###