Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice


Citizens walk through Kabul at sunrise as the takeover and Taliban invasion plagues Afghanistan.

Heath Rice, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Eighteen U.S soldiers were injured and 13 tragically died in the attack inside the Kabul Airport on Aug. 26, 2021. The 13 soldiers who gave their lives last week will not be forgotten in the hearts of their families, close friends and millions of Americans across the nation. The attack took place in the airport as a suicide bomber from Afghanistan’s offshoot group of the Islamic State, ISIS-K. 

The tragic attack on an Afghan airport took the lives of 11 American Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy soldier. For almost 20 years, the United States had occupied Afghanistan after the horrific events of 9/11. Moving closer to the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, more deaths have plagued the nation. 

The deaths have placed a large amount of stress on the nation as the question arises:What happens next? 

The quick withdrawal of soldiers under President Joe Biden has forced the nation into chaos. It turned the evacuation into an escape as the Taliban began to move against the removal of soldiers. 

David Espinoza, Nicole Gee, Darin Taylor Hoover, Ryan Knauss, Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum,  Dylan R. Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Daegan William, Johanny Rosario, Humberto Sanchez, Jared Schmitz and Max Soviak will not be forgotten. The 13 soldiers who died defending soldiers and citizens were nothing short of heroes. 

They were more than just soldiers to their friends and family. They had spouses and children waiting back home for them. They are not just names on a memorial or news story; they are brave men and women who died for freedom. 

Along with the soldiers who were injured and killed, 160 Afghan citizens died as well. August 26th was the most lethal day for American troops in Afghanistan since 2011. President Joe Biden gave his thoughts on Afghanistan in an official statement on Aug. 27. “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden proclaimed.

President Biden also offered his condolences in a press conference Aug. 29 to the families along with millions of Americans online and in person. The price of war is not a cheap one: as thousands of soldiers are heading home to reunite with their families, 13 families are saying their goodbyes.

The quick withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused turmoil and backlash from the families of those who lost their lives as well as many Americans. Many families proclaimed their distrust in Biden’s handling of the evacuation, which could have avoided unnecessary casualties. . 

 The events unfolding in Afghanistan have caused uncertainty about what’s next and how it affects future generations. Pleasant Valley Alumni Idiel Lopez, who has family members in the military,is disappointed in the outcome in Afghanistan. “After all the stuff that’s been going on recently I feel like all the blood, sweat and tears were for nothing,” he stated. 

This turn of events in the United States has a deep effect on not only those serving, but the people of this country. The country still has many important decisions to make regarding how to react to the current events. 

Idel’s father, a United States soldier, Daniel Lopez who is still actively serving  gave his feelings on the deaths of  his fellow soldiers. “I couldn’t even see my son grow up because I was deployed, but now it all feels like it was pointless,” he stated. This is a tragic loss felt by millions of Americans who have risked their lives for the cause of freedom. The deaths of fellow soldiers has caused a feeling of regret and disappointment for those in the armed forces. 

While progress has been made to evacuate and remove citizens, this is not a closed story. To the 13 men and women along with the thousands of troops in and outside Afghanistan, thank you for your service. The sacrifices that they have made will not be taken lightly, and you will never be forgotten. Your bravery and sacrifice will live on through those you have inspired and left behind.