HONOLULU (KHON2) — Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 26, capping a weeklong trip to Southeast Asia where she met with top officials in Singapore and Vietnam to encourage expanding U.S. cooperation and involvement in the region — and to counter Chinese influence.
Harris exited Air Force 2 at 3 p.m. at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickman and spoke briefly with Admiral Samuel Paparo, Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, before stepping into a black SUV.
Harris’s visit to Hawaii landed on a day that will be remembered by many Americans: Thirteen military service members were killed during an attack in Kabul.
While at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Harris addressed 25 members of the military who represented the six active duty service branches and National Guard. She and the second gentleman talked with each service member and thanked them for their service.
Harris also met with Gov. David Ige and congressional members of the Hawaii Delegation. Rep. Ed Case was at the private meeting with Harris, he said the situation in Afghanistan was top-of-mind.
“We extended to her our full sense of loss on behalf of Hawaii and our delegation to carry with her back to Washington,” Rep. Case said. “And of course, our commitment as well to continue to help out wherever we can.”
Rep. Case said he backs the mission to remove Americans and allies from Afghanistan. He said Hawaii should be ready to support, from, providing Guard members to giving shelter to those who are escaping terror.
“These are our friends and allies, these are the interpreters to our troops, these are the folks that worked with our military and civilian in Afghanistan,” Rep. Case said. “And these are exactly the folks that need to leave Afghanistan now.”
Harris boarded Air Force 2 at 4:18 p.m. and did not respond to shouted questions about Afghanistan.
She released the following statement on the terror attack in Kabul, where two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to the airport on Thursday:
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“Today in Kabul, a terror attack killed 13 American service members. These courageous servicemembers died while saving countless lives. They are heroes. Doug and I grieve for the Americans we lost, we pray for the Americans injured in the attack, and our hearts go out to their loved ones. We also grieve for the Afghan civilians killed and injured. Our country is grateful to all our women and men in uniform, and in particular, those working today to get Americans and our Afghan partners out of harm’s way. And we will complete that mission. Today, we honor those who gave their lives in service to their nation. We will never forget.”VP Kamala Harris