Thoughts & Prayers - Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Kabul & the Afghan People

TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Thoughts & Prayers for the Victims of Today’s Terrorist Attack in Kabul, and for the Afghan People
DATE: August 26, 2021

Over the course of the past two weeks, the people of the world have watched as the always-tenuous situation in Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated. As the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan quickly collapsed in the face of Taliban forces, members of a multinational armed force, including the United States – who for years have worked to bring both stability and a democratic structure to the country – have found themselves suddenly thrust into the role rescuing, evacuating, and attempting to aid tens of thousands of displaced Afghan peoples, as well as citizens of their own countries.

Earlier today, a deadly terrorist attack, which included suicide bombings and gunfire, took place in a heavily populated location near a key access point for the airport in Kabul. News media reported that 12 U.S. service members were among at least 60 people killed and 140 injured. This horrific attack underscores the extremely perilous circumstances those who are serving and living in Kabul currently face.

On behalf of Gonzaga University, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones who have died or been injured in this attack. Cognizant of the fact that two commissioned graduates of the Bulldog Battalion – 1st Lieutenants Forrest Ewens and Mathew Fazzari – died while serving in Afghanistan, we extend our condolences to their loved ones, and all those who have served in America’s efforts to bring peace, education, civil rights and the rule of law to the Afghan people over the past twenty years.

Please keep the Afghan people and all who have been impacted by the war in Afghanistan, in your thoughts and prayers.

Many people have been wondering if there are other ways to assist those who are seeking asylum or other assistance here in the United States. The Gonzaga Law School Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic is currently exploring ways to assist Spokane community members who have family in Afghanistan. Members of the ROTC department are working to support the extraction of Afghan citizens in danger.

There are many organizations that are actively working on the ground in Afghanistan to provide much-needed assistance to the population. Doctors Without Borders is working to support medical facilities in several areas; Islamic Relief USA is working to provide food to the displaced; USA for the UN Refugee Agency assists and supports refugees around the world. These are but a few of the organizations that are seeking donations; please consider supporting one that best fits for you. Thank you.

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. –Psalm 57:1