Rockland County, NY (September 1, 2021) – The New York Boulders announced Saturday night after the “Never Forget Heroes” game that the 13 seats in the first row located directly behind home plate will not be sold for the remaining home games this season at Palisades Credit Union Park in honor of the 13 United States servicemen killed in the terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan this past Thursday.
In addition, all members of the military, active or retired, will be admitted free to each of the final four remaining Boulders’ home games this Labor Day Weekend, Sept 3-6, which will open with a 7 p.m. game on Friday and will be followed by a 6:30 p.m. contest the next night, Saturday.
First pitch on Sunday is set for 6 p.m., with Monday’s final regular season home game set to commence at 1:30 p.m.
Team President Shawn Reilly made the decision to set aside the 13 seats in their memory shortly after the conclusion of the annual charity baseball game between the NYPD and FDNY, which was hosted by the Boulders for the second straight year.
“As we enjoy a holiday weekend, it’s important to remember that our freedom does not come free,” Reilly said. “These 13 young men tragically lost their lives in our defense. The 13 empty seats are our way of paying respect to the fallen soldiers and their families and also to recognize the sacrifices our military make for us every day.”
The game between the NYPD and FDNY is held each year in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice after responding to the World Trade Center area on Sept. 11, 2001.
Two suicide bombers struck on Aug. 26 in a coordinated attack outside the Kabul airport being used to evacuate Americans and others. In addition to the US servicemen killed, close to 200 Afghans also succumbed from the blasts.
The US servicemen killed in the blasts included Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollom of Wyoming, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz of Missouri, Cpl. Hunter Lopez of California, Lance Cpl. David Espinoza of Texas, Navy HM Max Soviak of Ohio, Staff Sgt, Ryan Knauss of Tennessee, Marine Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover of Utah, Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee of California, Marine Cpl. Daegan Page of Nebraska, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez of Indiana, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola of California, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui of California and Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo of Massachusetts.