Lubbock to get new memorial honoring Afghanistan 13 at McAlister Park

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Thirteen U.S. service members who died in a suicide bombing during the evacuation of Afghanistan two years ago will now be honored right here in Lubbock.

On Wednesday the Friends of McAlister Park announced the launch of the new Afghanistan 13 memorial walkway.

Randy Christian, president of Friends of McAlister Park, says, “It is honoring the 13 service members that were killed by a suicide bomber during the evacuation of Afghanistan at the Kabul airport attack.”

Although that attack is considered one of the deadliest days for American Forces, the new memorial on the southwest corner of McAlister Park will be the first honoring those brave 13.

“Somebody asked me why Lubbock? And I said why not Lubbock, why can’t we be the first? Why can’t we recognize the value of reaching out to these 13 people and beyond that will hurt forever and show them our love and affection and mark a piece of history,” Christian said.

While none of those fallen 13 have ties to Lubbock, Christian, who has met with nine of the thirteen soldiers’ families, says this memorial means more to them than just a plaque in a park.

“This is part of their healing, it really is and that’s important to them. They say that they know that their child is gone, they aren’t going to get them back but the most important thing we can do is not forget our child,” Christian said.

The average age of those soldiers was 23 years old. Benny Guerrero with Lubbock VFW says memorials like this are how the next generation of heroes are born.

“We talk about the recruiting challenges around the U.S. and how hard and difficult it is to recruit the next generation of heroes and I am here to say because of what the Purple Heart and VFW and what’s happening here at McAlister Park, Lubbock doesn’t have that problem,” Guerrero said.

Planning for the memorial is already underway. However, Friends of McAlister Park needs Lubbock’s help in making it happen. f you are interested in donating to the new Afghanistan 13 memorial walkway please click here.