A powerful new video released by the Marine Corps looks back at the chaos and heroism of the Abbey Gate explosion on August 26, 2001. Screengrab from USMC video.
Sgt. Jonathan Painter, a squad leader for Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, remembers the scene.
"You have a giant crowd of 30,000 people," Painter says. "It's inevitable with that situation and that amount of people."
A video released by the US Marine Corps on the one-year anniversary of the Abbey Gate bombing on Friday, Aug. 26, captures Painter's memory, a slew of images and videos from Abbey Gate and the Marines who guarded it, and the sound of the explosion that killed 13 Americans and more than a hundred Afghans.
The video includes Capt. Michael Jefferson, the executive officer of Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, which was one the units on duty at Hamid Karzai International Airport's Abbey Gate during the bombing.
"The airfield had been secured, a perimeter had been established, and it was less chaotic, initially," Jefferson says in the video. "But then, when we moved down to the actual gates, absolute chaos from the beginning."
Afghans crowd the area outside the North Gate of the Kabul airport on Aug. 21. Photo by Mirzahussain Sadid for Alive in Afghanistan.
The bombing marked the final combat deaths of Americans in Afghanistan. More than 130,000 people were airlifted from Kabul during the evacuation. The last of the US forces departed Afghanistan less than a week after the bombing.
You can read about each of the 13 American service members killed in the Aug. 26, 2021 bombing below:
Lance Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, USMC | Laredo, TX
Sgt. Nicole Gee, USMC | Roseville, CA
Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, USMC | Salt Lake City, UT
Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, US Army | Knoxville, TN
Cpl. Hunter Lopez, USMC | Indio, CA
Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, USMC | Bondurant, WY
Cpl. Dylan Merola, USMC | Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, USMC | Norco, CA
Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, USMC | Omaha, NE
Sgt. Johanny Rosario, USMC | Lawrence, MA
Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, USMC | Logansport, IN
Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, USMC | Wentzville, MO
Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak, US Navy | Berlin Heights, OH
Read Next: Hell at Abbey Gate: Chaos, Confusion, and Death in the Final Days of the War in Afghanistan
Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.
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