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By Brandon Jarvis

More than 220 Democrats and Republicans in Congress have signed on to cosponsor legislation giving a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor to the thirteen American armed service members who were killed in a suicide attack at Kabul’s airport last month. 

A number of Virginia’s representatives are cosponsors of the bill.  

“These valiant men and women gave their lives to protect American and Afghan civilians from brutal fates under the Taliban,” said Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA01). “Their heartbreaking sacrifice shows the terrible costs of protecting American lives and freedoms. Those who gave their lives in noble service to the United States deserve recognition, and I am proud to join in this effort to honor them.”

“It is with the utmost gratitude that we award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 heroic service members who lost their lives to the tragedy in Afghanistan,” said Rep. Bob Good(R-VA05). “Today, we honor these brave men and women and seek to hold accountable those whose inaction resulted in the abhorrent events that led to this loss.”

Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) and Elaine Luria (D-VA07), who served in the CIA and Navy respectively, also signed on to the bill. 

“In the final days of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, 13 servicemembers put their lives on the line — and paid the ultimate sacrifice — as they helped American citizens and our Afghan allies evacuate the country,” Spanberger said in a statement Tuesday. “By awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to these courageous and selfless Americans, we can honor their sacrifice, stand with their loved ones, and ensure that the memory of the fallen shall always live on.”

With more than half of the members in the House of Representatives signed on to cosponsor, the bill shows a display of bipartisan support.

“I’m proud to lead my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this bipartisan bill. I’m inspired by the readiness of my colleagues in Congress to honor these 13 brave men and women who were taken from their loved ones far too soon,” said Lisa McClain, the bill’s original sponsor. “Their sacrifice for their country and its allies will never be forgotten and I hope to be able to pay tribute to them with this medal.”

Republican Reps Morgan Griffith (R-VA09) and Ben Cline (R-VA06) also are listed as cosponsors for the bill. 

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