Death of 13 U.S. service members sends shockwaves through to St. Louis, impacts organization gearing up for 9/11 memorial

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Two deadly attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan killed 13 U.S. service members Thursday near Kabul’s airport.

According to Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr, those killed include 11 marines and one Navy medic. Fifteen military members were injured.

President Joe Biden promised retaliation after the attack from ISIS-K. 

“To those that carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this.  We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” the president said during an address Thursday.

At least 60 Afghans were killed and 143 others were hurt in the airport attack. 

“There’s families that I’m sure this morning and we’re, we’re waiting desperately, you know, their kids were there and they didn’t, you know, they don’t know if they’re the ones that are going to get the knock on the door. It’s just, it’s tragic, and it’s heartbreaking,” Rick Randall, with Pace Properties, and the co-founder for America’s Heartland Remembers and Flags of Valor.

The deaths impact thousands across the globe, but it also impacts America’s Heartland Remembers and Flags of Valor. The organization has been getting ready for a 20-year remembrance display to honor the lives lost in the War on Terror since 9/11. 

Randall is preparing to set up more than 7,000 flags on Art Hill in Forest Park on Sept. 4 to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Now, he has to add 13 more flags, 13 more dog tags, and 13 more pictures. 

“It’s a difficult day for all of us involved in that because we were hoping that number was not going to change from what we had been working on,” Randall said.

“Regardless of your political or what you think we do right or wrong as a country, just look at these families and think about them and respect the fact that their kids and their young people went overseas long way from home, to try and keep us safe and free here.”

The flags will be on display from Sept. 4-12, “to remember—and to share with those who are too young to remember—that freedom comes at a price. Together, we can honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe,” the Flags of Valor website says. 

For more information, visit the organization’s website.

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