Thirteen U.S. service members who went to Afghanistan to assist with the evacuation of American citizens and allies never got to taste a welcome home beer.
That’s why, in their memory, taverns across the nation are putting up an American-style tribute to the fallen.
First Line Brewing, one of the many establishments that set up an empty table with 13 glasses of beer upon it, explained the gesture on its Facebook page.
“13 glasses will sit un touched at this reserved table all night for the 13 American troops who were killed in Afghanistan on August 26th. These brave courageous individuals paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” the bar posted.
“We will continue to replace these pints throughout the night to ensure that they are fresh and ice cold just how they would want them. Thank you to our amazing staff for this amazing idea to honor these heroes,” it said.
The bar said that it wanted to do more than just make a gesture for those fallen in the Kabul suicide bombing on Aug. 26.
“As information continues to unfold, we would like to take a portion of our proceeds from this weekend and make a donation on behalf of the fallen service members. As we know more about the situation we will decide the most appropriate donor recipient(s),” the bar posted, later saying it would accept donations through Venmo.
“God bless their families and loved ones. God bless the United States of America.”
A follow-up post showed the depth of the support Americans have for the fallen.
“Thank you to all those that have donated on behalf of the fallen 13 soldiers we lost. We have quickly raised $2.2k so far! All proceeds will be donated to charities that benefit these Heroes,” the bar posted.
Many taverns have copied the tribute and shared photos on social media.
Tonight I poured 13 beers. 13 beers that will be never be drank. 13 beers for 13 soldiers that gave their all. ❤️
The most heartfelt beers I’ve ever poured… pic.twitter.com/rVG4JXQkxU
— KC_Sass (@KC_Sass) August 30, 2021
Pizza & beers for the 13 service members killed in the Afghanistan airport attack. This was Stefanina’s Pizzeria in O’Fallon, Missouri last night. pic.twitter.com/JZWYoa4RHE
— Mike Saccone (@mikesacconetv) August 29, 2021
Another reason why I love my town. Just walked in for lunch at pur favorite seafood place.
13 beers for 13 fallen soldiers.
RIP to those that sacrifice everything for us and their families.
They pour them fresh to keep them cold & seats are reserved for the weekend ??? pic.twitter.com/XE0zN1Upwq
— ℂℝ?ℙ??ℂ (@FPS_Cryptic) August 28, 2021
Tonight a Marine came into a bar in Kirkland, laid out his dress blues and bought 13 beers for the fallen soldiers in Kabul. This will stand all night, reserved for one last round. RIP Brothers. pic.twitter.com/kcVOWvQVn6
— Kiss My Grits Liberals✌️✌️ (@Reversequestion) August 28, 2021
At the Ironwood Cafe in Westlake Ohio, general manager Shannon Vazquez set up a display of 13 beers at an empty table after realizing that one of the servicemen killed in Kabul last month was from Ohio, according to Today.
On the table, she posted a sign saying, “Reserved for our 13 Americans not coming home.”
Vazquez, who comes from a military family, said the deaths “hit home for me.”
“I just wanted everybody to know that we here at Ironwood support our troops and remember our fallen,” she said.
“We pray for the families that lost their friend or family member, and we need to take care of our military, support and honor our troops and fallen servicemen and women,” Vazquez said.
The gesture resonated with her customers.
“I had one gentleman give me a hug. He was very emotional about it; he lost his grandfather in the line of duty,” Vazquez said. “I had a lot of people thanking me, shaking my hand. They were extremely touched by it.”
Down at the Eleven Lakes Brewing Company in North Carolina, Teri Lippy said that after hearing about the gesture, she and her daughter took the trend one step further.
The brewery had an American flag that had been once been draped on the coffin of a fallen soldier. The flag was folded and set upon the table where the beers were arranged.
“I didn’t know what to do with the flag, I just knew I needed to take really good care of it, and I never really knew what I was going to do with it besides hanging it on the wall … And then of course this tragedy happened,” Lippy said.
“I didn’t know what to do, I knew I had to do something, and I thought, ‘That’s the reason why I’ve been holding on to this flag for so long, so that we could pay tribute to these kids,'” she said.
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