KABUL, Afghanistan — On Thursday, an ISIS-K-linked suicide bombing rocked Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing over 100 people. Among the deceased were 13 U.S. service members, identified by the U.S. Department of Defense as:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio.
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
A Facebook tribute to Sgt. Gee by a close friend and military colleague went viral after being posted Friday night:
Other victims of the attack were profiled on social media by Students for Trump co-chair Ryan Fournier.
During a speech given in the aftermath of the bombing, President Joe Biden mourned the fallen service members and lamented their having given their lives “in the service of liberty, the service of security, and the service of others”.
As flat as the attempted temerity of Biden’s words may fall, acts like these — demonstrative of the evil derived from reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life — are things which transcend the realm of the political.
Victims of indescribable acts of evil — regardless of status or military service — are all too often glossed over as faces and names attached to the sensationalist media headlines that invariably surface in their wake.
In a culture driven by such opportunism, it is so easy to forget that these are people with decades of lived experiences, families, careers, personal struggles, and relationships. Behind each name is a story, a life, another human being with whom we may empathize.
The lucidity we are granted by the simplest glance into the (tragically understated) humanity of those murdered by these acts of evil also grants us a different breed of lucidity — one which allows us to understand the depravity and sheer lack of humanity of those who perpetuate crimes of such unspeakable magnitude against innocents.
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