WASHINGTON, D.C. --
One year ago, on August 26, 2021, our Nation lost thirteen brave service members—eleven United States Marines, a Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsman, and a United States Army Soldier. In an act of supreme devotion to mission, they gave their lives so that others may be free of oppression under a brutal regime. Confronted with a dishonorable attack against our allies and civilians, our Marines kept their honor clean. In the midst of chaos and bloodshed, they deployed to Hamid Karzai International Airport and acted with the courage, selflessness, and professionalism indelibly ascribed to the term “Marine.”
They were sent there because they are United States Marines, ready to respond to crises at a moment’s notice. They were sent there because our citizens depend on their Marines to accomplish their hardest missions with stoicism and resolve. They were sent there because Marines, and those who serve with us, accomplish the mission — no matter the cost.
Two decades ago, Marines were the first conventional forces to enter Afghanistan with the events of 9/11 still fresh. Last year, they were among the final Americans to leave, bringing an end to an honored chapter in our legacy. The “Afghanistan Marine” will forever be known as a relentless, tough, adaptable, and austere warrior. Abbey Gate now stands with Forward Operating Base Rhino, Marjah, Sangin Valley, and countless other operations against our enemies where thousands of Marines distinguished themselves by their heroism and sacrifice. They will never be forgotten.
Marines today carry on that legacy. We stand ready, reinforced by the hard-learned lessons of combat experience embedded in our ranks. Though we must adapt to the next fight, have no doubt that we will meet the task. We remain focused, our eyes to the horizon, ready to once again answer the call. The lives of those who fell a year ago, and the lives of all our honored dead, will live on in the legacy of our Corps; generations of Marines yet to wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor will carry on their memory. Though the future remains uncertain, we can be sure that Marines will be on the edge, ready to accomplish the mission. The fate of our Nation, our allies, and the free world depends upon it. We are Semper Fidelis.