Americans were heartbroken and horrified to hear of the loss of 13 service members last week during the bombing of the Kabul, Afghanistan airport.

No one deserves more reverence and recognition than those who give their lives in service for others. And that's exactly what these brave men and women did while serving our country overseas. It happened while they were seeking to help people get to safety.

These young people came from all around this great nation of ours. One of the thirteen was a medic in the Navy. Another served in our Army. The other eleven were in the Marines.

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When something like this happens, it's difficult to carry on with "normal things" for awhile. Even something as simple as going to dinner with your friends or family is more of a challenge. It's hard not to remember that these young people, who'd just started their lives, will never sit down at a restaurant with their families again. It's almost too much to process.

May they rest in peace, and with the great honor they deserve. 

However, there are many restaurants in East Texas who made the decision in the days that followed the attack, to do the next best thing they could for these young people. No, they may not be sitting down for dinner with us. But at least, while we dine, in a way they are with us.

These 13 restaurants in East Texas honored their memories by holding space for them. In many of these, that meant leaving an empty table open--with 13 seats--to show reverence.

In other places they created vignettes in places of prominence with flowers, flags, and/or candles with a list naming those we lost.

Respect, y'all.

And I wish we knew every business in ETX that did something similar--and please let us know who we may add to the list--but these 13 we know for sure, did.

13 East Texas Restaurants That Honored Our 13 U.S. Soldiers with Empty Tables

They honored they memory of our fallen by holding space for them. In many of these, that meant leaving open an empty table--with 13 seats--to show reverence. 

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