United States House of Representatives agreed to award the Congressional Gold Medal this week to the 13 American troops who were killed in a bomb blast earlier this year outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s Kabul.

The suicide bomb blast — which happened on August 26, 2021– killed numerous Americans and Afghanistan residents. While 18 service members of the United States forces were injured in the deadly attack, eleven marines, one Army soldier and one Navy Sailor were injured fatally.

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The legislation, which is aimed at recognising the contribution of the service members, says, “The American servicemembers went above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens of the United States and our allies to ensure they are brought to safety in an extremely dangerous situation as the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan”, according to reports from ABC News.

The bill, which got through the first legislative hurdle this week with clear bipartisan support, will now head to the United States Senate for the second step of approval. 

Lisa McClain, a member of the Republican party and a lawmaker from Michigan, sponsored the legislation in the House of Representatives and said in a statement, “Their sacrifice for our country and its allies will never be forgotten and I’m encouraged by the overwhelming bipartisan support for this legislation, which has 325 cosponsors.”

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She added, “I urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill so we can properly honor these fallen servicemembers”, according to reports from ABC News.

If and when the bill is passed and signed into law, the awarded Congressional Gold Medals will be given to the Smithsonian Institution for display.

ABC News reported that the medal has been given away less than 200 times so far. Some of the recipients include holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and renowned mathematician Katherine Johnson.