Senate sends bill to honor 13 service members killed in Afghanistan to Biden’s desk

Flag-draped transfer cases line the inside of a C-17 Globemaster II on Aug. 29 prior to a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to award the 13 service members killed in an August terrorist attack in Afghanistan Congressional Gold Medals. File Photo by Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force/UPI

Nov. 18 (UPI) — The Senate has unanimously passed legislation to posthumously award the 13 service members killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan Congressional Gold Medals, sending the bill to President Joe Biden‘s desk to sign it into law.

The bipartisan bill was introduced mid-September by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., to award Congress’ highest form of appreciation to the 11 Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy corpsman killed Aug. 26 in a suicide bombing near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Daines announced the bill’s passing on Twitter on Wednesday, nearly a month after the House unanimously passed its companion legislation.

“Today, the United States Senate moved to recognize the courage, sacrifice and service of the 13 brave men and women who were killed in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement, The Hill reported. “During a pivotal point for our nation, they gave the last full measure for our freedoms.”

The 13 service members were killed while in Afghanistan to aid the U.S. mission to evacuate some 6,000 American citizens and 124,000 Afghans from the country at the end of August amid the U.S. military’s exodus from the war-torn nation after it fell to the Taliban.

The legislation stipulates that once the medals have been awarded, they will be given to the Smithsonian Institution where they will be displayed and made available for research.

Congress has commissioned the gold medals since the American Revolution, with recipients including former presidents such as George Washington and Harry S. Truman as well as military and civil rights leaders and entertainers.


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