The Atlanta Braves are one of the latest organizations to leave seats open in memory of the 13 United States service members who were killed this week in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Major League Baseball team reserved 13 seats at Truist Park on Sunday for the heroes who died in Afghanistan. The soldiers — 11 Marines, one Navy sailor, and one Army soldier — were killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.
They were the first U.S. service members to have been killed in Afghanistan since February of 2020. Shortly after, the Trump administration reached an agreement with the Taliban so that they would stop attacking Americans. In exchange, the U.S. had to remove all American troops by May 2021. Biden said in a statement back in April that he would have all forces out by September.
Meanwhile, Mark Owens has spent 15 seasons as the Atlanta Braves in-game host. He took to social media on Sunday afternoon to post a moving photo of the reserved seats. Each one has an American flag folded over the top.
“Braves reserved 13 seats for our heroes,” Owens wrote alongside the photo.
President Joe Biden Pays Respects to US Troops Killed in Afghanistan
The Atlanta Braves weren’t the only ones to pay their respects to the fallen service members on Sunday. President Joe Biden stood witness on Sunday as the remains of those same U.S. Troops came back home. And the ceremony was so quiet that you would only be able to hear a couple of sounds. Those were the commands of the honor guards who carried their flag-covered remains and the hum of the C-17 aircraft that brought them back.
Biden was standing next to his wife, Jill, and several of his top aides. Some of them included Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Biden stood with his hand over his heart and his eyes shut in prayer.
“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,” Biden said in a statement. “Their bravery and selflessness enabled more than 117,000 people at risk to reach safety thus far.”
Of the 13 who were killed, their ages range from 20 to 31. They came from all over the United States, including California, Massachusetts, and several states in between. Five of the 13 were only 20 years old, having just been born right before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
One of the young men was a 20-year-old Marine from Wyoming. He was expecting his first child in three weeks.