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Rochester honors 13 service members killed in Kabul attack

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — Tuesday night at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial saw around 100 people gather in a somber mood.

Local Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), first responders and current and former service members came to honor the 13 military members who lost their lives after a suicide bombing attack at the Kabul International Airport.

Those killed were aiding Afghanistan nationals and U.S. citizens onto planes to evacuate the country.

“I think this verse from the Bible is appropriate,” said Congressman Jim Hagedorn. “‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ [There are] lots of opinions about the Afghan war. How it started, how it was [executed], how it ended and everything in-between. But I don’t think there’s much disagreement that these 13 soldiers were peacemakers. Indeed in their final heroic acts, they were trying to help American citizens return to our freedom, return to our home.”

The Bell of Honor tolled seven times in honor of those who lost their lives in the attack. Each toll has its own meaning. The first six tolls honor those who have: responded, served, protected, defended, sacrificed, and suffered. After a pause between the sixth and seventh toll, the seventh toll signifies the Loss of Life.

13 individuals or families also came up one by one to lay roses down on an American Flag after the name of each soldier. Each rose symbolized one of the service members who died.

Other ceremonies included a 21 gun salute, Taps and “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes.

Zach Fuller

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