Western New Yorkers honor the 13 service members killed in Kabul airport attack


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New Yorkers are doing their part to honor the Americans killed in Afghanistan this week.

Staff Sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia said he’s been thinking of the families of the 13 service members killed in Thursday’s terrorist attack at the Kabul airport.

“We talk about the men and women who served, the Medal of Honor, the Valor awards. The real sacrifice in this country are the family members who give us their sons and daughters, their babies, and they do it for liberty,” Bellavia said. “And after that loss, they’re still able to talk to their Commander in Chief, they’re still able to honor the other service members and salute the flag. It is the ultimate form and love and fidelity for this country.”

In Orchard Park, First Line Brewing is making sure those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan are remembered. To honor them, the business reserved a table left empty except 13 glasses full of beer which remained throughout the day.

One of the brewery’s bartenders got the idea after seeing other places across the country do the same. After the owners posted a picture of the table on their social media accounts, it quickly gained attention from people all across Western New York.

“It’s something that gives you chills when you think about the reality of what this symbolizes. Yeah, it’s cool we get to do this and put these beer glasses here and have all these people support it, but it really symbolizes the 13 amazing people whose lives were cut short,” First Line Brewing co-owner Shane Stewart said. “It just reminds us every day how lucky we are to live in this country and to have people who protect us day in and day out.”

First Line Brewing is planning on donating a portion of the money they make this weekend on behalf of the 13 service members killed in the terrorist attack. If you would like to donate, the brewery has more information here.

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