Fallen service member

A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Aug. 29 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Gee was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune.

KENANSVILLE— Since 1776, Congress has bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal for distinguished achievement and heroism. Today, as 13 families grief the loss of a loved one, 160 members of Congress came together to propose a bill that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the service members who were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26.

The service members where at Hamid Karzai International Airport, conducting operations to help Americans and Afghan allies evacuate the now Taliban-led nation.

The evacuations marked the last chapter of a war that lasted nearly 20 years. A war that started in an effort to eradicate terrorism after 2,996 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Awarding these outstanding individuals and their families with our highest Congressional honor is the least we can do to honor their memory. Their bravery, selflessness, and courage will never be forgotten,” said Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. in a statement.

“It is with a heavy heart in the wake of this tragedy that I urge Speaker Pelosi to bring this bipartisan bill to the floor as quickly as possible.”

Murphy’s sentiment echoed among members of Congress as they expressed condolences for the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save the lives of innocent people.

“Even in the face of great danger, these brave troops carried out their mission,” said Congressman David Rouzer in a media release. “Their selflessness and heroism shall not be forgotten.”

If passed, this legislation would award the Congressional Gold Medal to Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Cpl. David Lee 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 Knauss.

Ena Sellers may be reached at esellers@ncweeklies.com