One year ago today, 13 American service members lost their lives in a terrorist attack on the Kabul airport in Afghanistan. These American heroes were engaged in a selfless mission to undertake an unprecedented airlift, making the ultimate sacrifice while helping to successfully move nearly 124,000 people to safety and giving tens of thousands of Afghan families the opportunity to pursue the American dream. We honor their memory and mourn their loss.
Today is especially poignant for us at the Department of State. At U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world, the first American a visitor encounters is a Marine. It is a source of comfort to Americans overseas and a reminder to friends and allies of the strength of our commitments. We could not do our jobs without our Marine counterparts, and we are grateful every single day that they serve alongside our diplomats.
We also grieve the more than 170 Afghans who lost their lives in this attack. They sought nothing more than the chance for a new start elsewhere, and we offer our profound condolences to their families.
We will never cease the pursuit of justice for those who carried out this attack. We continue to work closely with our interagency partners to locate and arrest them. Our broader commitment to the Afghan people endures, and we will continue to pursue principled diplomacy and other measures to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for international terrorists.