NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Monday night, restaurants around our area honored the 13 service members killed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
This as many families continue to worry about loved ones still left in the country, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
Mohammad Karimi of Queens showed photos of his family in Afghanistan, which they destroyed after sending him because of their fears of the Taliban. That same fear kept them from fleeing.
“They’re telling us if we go to the airport, we risk dying,” Karimi said.
For weeks, he has been in contact with elected officials and nonprofits, trying to get them out.
“The last plane leaving, and my aunt is still stuck in Kabul. My cousins, they’re my age. They’re stuck in Kabul. It’s just one of the toughest situations that I’ve ever been in, in my life,” Karimi said.
His mother came to the U.S. in the early 1990s, raised three children, and opened a salon in Bethpage eight years ago. Her sister, a principal, chose to stay in Afghanistan all these years, for her students.
“We are very hopeless right now. We just pray to God that something like a miracle is gonna happen,” Farida Karimi said.
It has been heartbreaking for the family watching terror unfold, especially the suicide bombing at Kabul Airport on Thursday.
“I’m an American, too. Seeing 13 service members get killed is horrible. Seeing that, along with fellow Afghans, it was … my gut was in a knot,” Mohammad Karimi said.
On Sunday, there was an emotional homecoming as flag-draped caskets carried the brave men and women who died serving our country home.
In honor of the 13 heroes, a table is reserved at EGP Oceanside. It’s an idea the owner said he got from a restaurant in Texas, where one of the service members is from.
“This is just a little token of our gratitude for everything that you do for this country in protecting our freedoms,” Tim O’Hagan said.
“I’m honored to be in a restaurant that does something like this,” Oceanside resident Mike Jennings added.
Similar tributes can be found all around the country, and on Long Island.
From McQuades in Lynbrook, to Athenian in Commack and Rudy’s in Patchogue, each set a table for our fallen service members, hoping its a place people take a moment to honor our heroes.
“If it brings a mom and dad who has got a son or daughter that’s overseas fighting and protecting a little bit of, hey, you know what, people still have our service men and women’s backs out there, then it’s well worth it,” O’Hagan said.
The owner of the restaurant said he’s also going to donate a dollar for every beer sold since Friday to the families of the fallen soldiers.