Kevin McCarthy Orders U.S. Capitol Flag Lowered to Half-Staff to Honor 13 Troops Killed in Afghanistan 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ordered the U.S. Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the 13 troops killed two years ago in President Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.

“Two years ago today, we tragically lost 13 brave servicemen and women in Afghanistan,” McCarthy said in a statement online. “I have directed the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in honor of these American heroes.”

Capitol Flags Fly Half Staff for 13 Killed in Afghanistan, Patrick Semansky/AP

McCarthy also posted the following list of the names of the 13 servicemembers killed:

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25

Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23

Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31

Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22

Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23

Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22

Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20

Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20

Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20

Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20

Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20

Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23

These 13 troops were killed in an August 26, 2021, Kabul airport attack after a “suicide bomber slipped past Taliban checkpoints to the gates where they were screening entrants,” as Breitbart News reported.

In contrast, the Democrat-controlled Senate has been largely silent on the two-year anniversary of the tragedy in Afghanistan. Neither Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) nor Democrat Senate Whip Dick Durbin (IL) have made any statements about the anniversary or supporting McCarthy’s decision to lower the Capitol flags to half-staff.

Other Republican lawmakers recognized the anniversary in statements issued Saturday.

GOP House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) reiterated House Republicans vow to “hold President Biden and his Administration accountable for their disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.”

Stefanik said:

Two years ago today, our nation was devastated by the deaths of 13 brave Servicemembers in the deadliest attack on Americans in Afghanistan since 2011, which was a direct result of President Biden’s catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal. We will never forget their courageous service and sacrifice on half our great nation. That day, House Republicans vowed that we would hold President Biden and his Administration accountable for their disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. Since retaking control of the House, we have delivered on that promise despite the Biden Administration’s efforts to stonewall our investigations. House Republicans remain committed to delivering justice for those 13 brave Servicemembers and all of our Afghanistan veterans.

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) praised the “heroes and their loved ones” in a statement acknowledging their sacrifice.

“Today marks two years since we lost 13 brave U.S. servicemembers in a heinous attack at the Kabul airport during Pres. Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Boozman said. “These heroes and their loved ones have our deepest gratitude and we are forever grateful for their sacrifice.”

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) said, “we are still waiting for President Biden to take responsibility for choosing politics over the safety of our service members, our allies, and the people of Afghanistan.”

Biden has repeatedly denied making any mistakes with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, telling reporters in July that he “was right.”

“No, no. All the evidence is coming back,” Biden told a reporter who asked if he admitted any mistakes with the withdrawal. “Do you remember what I said about Afghanistan? I said al-Qaeda would not be there. I said it wouldn’t be there. I said we’d get help from the Taliban. What’s happening now? What’s going on? Read your press. I was right.”

Biden’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who has faced calls to resign for his role in the Afghanistan withdrawal, praised the “selflessness and valor” of the 13 servicemembers killed in the attack.

“Their selflessness and valor helped defend their comrades and lift tens of thousands of Afghans to safety, allowing them to pursue new lives in freedom. As we mark this painful milestone, my heart is with the families of these 13 American heroes,” Austin said. “Today, the entire Department of Defense stands in sorrow with them—along with all of the families whose loved ones gave their lives during our 20 years in Afghanistan.”

One father of one of the fallen Marines recently called on Biden and his top aides to resign over the Afghanistan withdrawal.

“I’m calling out Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, General Milley, General McKenzie, Lt. Col. Whitehead — who could not give the order to the snipers to take out the bomber before he detonated his vest — and ultimately, the president,” he said.

“Do what our son did: Be a grown-ass man. Admit your mistakes. Learn from them so that this doesn’t happen ever, ever again. You all need to resign immediately. Our sons and daughters have more integrity in their little toes than every one of them combined,” he added.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.


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