Tribute to fallen service members

This special tribute to U.S. Marines recently killed in Kabul in August 2021 is on display at Roundup Steakhouse & Saloon in Fairbanks. Photo courtesy Gene Lunney

Roundup Steakhouse & Saloon in Fairbanks has created a special tribute to U.S. service members who were killed last month in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“I saw a couple of things online, and I thought we could do something better than that,” Roundup owner Gene Lunney said.

Tributes have popped up all over the country. In Fairbanks, the longtime restaurant at 2701 S. Cushman St. reserved a large table with a place setting for each service member who died in the attack on Aug. 26 in Kabul, Afghanistan. More than 100 people were killed that day, including 13 American service members and 90 Afghans. The service members included 11 U.S. Marines, a soldier with the U.S. Army and a sailor from the U.S. Navy.

The suicide bomber attack occurred at the Kabul Airport as crowds tried to enter the American-controlled facility. The blast was followed by an assault by gunmen, in the midst of the U.S.-led evacuation effort.

The centerpiece of the table at Roundup Steakhouse & Saloon is a 13-star American Flag. The restaurant already proudly displays the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Bill of Rights, and an American flag handmade by a youngster from a military family.

Reactions from customers have been emotional and overwhelmingly positive.

“It has been amazing,” Lunney said.

An elderly customer came into the restaurant recently, stopped at the table for a moment then wiped a tear from her eye. She walked directly to the service station to tell Lunney how the display affected her.

“Then I started welling up,” he said. “We were both wiping tears away. I had to walk away.”

A World War II veteran who came to the restaurant this week had a similar emotional response, Lunney said.

“The reaction has been very positive,” he added.

A sign above the table says: “Reserved For Our 13 Fallen Soldiers. True American Patriots.”

A glass beverage is at each table setting, along with a table place card that features the soldier’s name, military title and hometown.

Gardening class

It’s never too early for gardeners to think about next season — especially beginning gardeners.

Every fall Terry Reichardt offers an eight-week gardening class called “Growing Vegies in Fairbanks” that helps gardeners prepare for next year.With the right varieties and the right growing method, vegetable gardeners can get good yields of most vegetables in Interior Alaska, according to instructor Reichardt.

The class will provide specific information about many different vegetables, including best varieties, growing methods, storage and cooking tips. She also will discuss crops Alaskans might not always consider: asparagus, kidney beans, Alaska rice (barley), garlic and quinoa.

She offers the class every Monday, 6-8 p.m., from Sept. 27 through Nov. 15 at First Presbyterian Church, Eighth and Cushman streets.

To enroll and for more information, call the church office at 452-2406. A $20 donation will help cover expenses but is not required.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris

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