US Coins

Congress approves gold medal for servicemembers killed in Afghanistan exit

The remains of U.S. service members killed by a suicide bombing in Afghanistan Aug. 26 at the airport in Kabul are loaded aboard a military aircraft to be returned to the United States for burial.

Image in the public domain.

Legislation seeking a congressional gold medal to posthumously recognize the 13 servicemembers who perished in Afghanistan on Aug. 26, 2021, during the evacuation of American citizens and Afghan allies at Hamid Karzai International Airport nears becoming law, after the Senate unanimously passed the measure Nov. 17.

H.R. 5142 was passed by the House by voice vote on Oct. 25.

The legislation originated in the House Aug. 31, introduced by Rep. Lisa C. McClain, R-Mich., and was subsequently forwarded to the House Committee on Financial Services for further consideration.

The 13 servicemembers were killed in a suicide bombing, for which responsibility was claimed by ISIS-K, amid evacuations of thousands at the airport, as the U.S. and other nations removed troops from Aghanistan.

ISIS-K is the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, an affiliate of the Islamic State active in South Asia and Central Asia.

Once H.R. 5142 is sent to the White House and signed into law by President Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has the authority to direct the U.S. Mint to produce 3-inch and 1.5-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal.

The gold medal’s design will be chosen from submissions by artists from the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program or the Mint’s engraving staff, and sculpted by a U.S. Mint medallic artist.

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