PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Rhode Islanders are remembering the 13 U.S. service members killed in the Kabul airport attack.
The devastating news shook the country on Thursday and days later, hundreds of thousands continue mourn the loss of the soldiers.
Recently, bars and restaurants began "reserving" a seat for the soldiers. The trend caught on in the Ocean State.
"It's a small appreciation to our first responders here in the U.S. and overseas for what they've done for our country," said Francois Karam, who's the owner of the Opa Restaurant on Federal Hill. "My staff approached me about doing it, it's a very small gesture that seems to have gone a long way."
On Saturday, the Opa tables were put together to seat a party of 13.
Red, white, and blue shots were poured and placed in front of where a person would've sat. A sign read, "Reserved for our 13 fallen soldiers."
"We're immigrants, a lot of my staff are immigrants. We came from areas of the world that we didn't have the opportunity or freedom, so for the soldiers to fight for us, fight for our freedom, the opportunity that we have here today it's something we need to be reminded of," said Karam.
To also help remind others of the lives lost, flags could be seen flying at half-staff at businesses and homes.
That was the case for a woman in her 80s in Cranston who said she's had her flag pole since she could remember and since she wasn't able to adjust it, a nice neighbor leant her a helping hand to honor the fallen.
"The female gal is from nearby Massachusetts that makes a difference too when you know it's somebody close to home," said the woman. "The flag, it's a necessity. My husband was a very patriotic, wonderful man and heavens gain is my loss, but it's been up there for years."
Sunday night in front of The Garden of Heroes, at the State House, which honors post 9/11 military members killed in action, was the spot of a candlelight vigil held by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Rhode Island.
"Part of the vigil, I read the 13 names of the fallen, so we will never forget who they are and they will live with us forever," said Dora Vasquez-Hellner, the commander of the Department of Rhode Island Veterans of Foreign Wars. "It was something we never envisioned that was going to transpire to now receive flag draped coffins."
The VFW of Rhode Island said it's been checking in on its veterans since the release of the news to make sure others are OK.
"We are confused, we are frustrated, we don't understand what's going on in that part of the world," said Vasquez-Hellner. "As veterans of foreign war, we honor our fallen regardless if they are direct family members. As a veteran, we are all members of one big family regardless of what branch we have served in."