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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Marking Two Years Since the Attack at Abbey Gate

Two years ago, a horrific terrorist attack at Abbey Gate outside Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 13 brave American heroes, as well as approximately 170 Afghan civilians. 
In the final days of America's war in Afghanistan, the men and women of the United States military undertook a tremendously difficult task amid hazardous conditions. Along with the rest of their teammates, these 13 Service members—11 Marines, a Soldier, and a Sailor—tackled their mission with skill, compassion, and extraordinary courage. 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. 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. We will never forget what they gave to serve this country that we love.