Next to the row was a sign that read, "For the 13 U.S. Service Members killed in Kabul."
Many businesses have taken to social media to honor the men and women who lost their lives. Restaurants across the country, including some right here in the Tampa Bay area, posted photos of empty tables with beers at each place setting reserved for the 11 U.S. Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier who were killed in the suicide bombing attack at the Kabul airport.
"The 13 service members that we lost were heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our highest American ideals and while saving the lives of others," President Joe Biden said in a statement Saturday.
Nearly all of them were in their early 20s, meaning they had been just young children when U.S. forces first entered Afghanistan in 2001.
The deceased include at least one of the Marines — recently promoted Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23 — who were seen in widely circulated photos cuddling Afghan infants they had temporarily rescued from the crush of the crowds outside the airport gates this month.
The Department of Defense identified the victims 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