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Orchard Park bar pays tribute to fallen U.S. troops in Afghanistan, raises money for families and charities

They have raised about $5,000 since Friday
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Posted at 11:17 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:17:35-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — First Line Brewing in Orchard Park has always had a message.

“Our mission really is to shed light on American heroes,” Co-Owner Michael Maiorana said.

Last week 13 U.S. troops were killed, marking the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan since 2011. So, First Line Brewing decided to add their own tribute. The bar has 13 glasses full of beer to represent the 13 U.S. troops killed. Maiorana said one of their bartenders had the idea.

“We’re just very fortunate that we can shed some light on devastating news and give back to some charities,” Maiorana said.

Customers, like Darlene Schiele, said the tribute visualizes the loss.

“When you first walk in, you have to stop and look at it and you get chills because you’re looking at 13 glasses of beer,” Schiele said.

Right now, first line brewing has raised about $5,000. They plan on donating the money to a charity, such as one that supports wounded warriors, or the families of the fallen soldiers.

“It kind of reminds us that we are in a country that you should respect and support,” Schiele said.

Maiorana says the tribute has been greeted with support.

“We just want to the community to rally behind America,” Maiorana said.

“It’s not in your face but it’s kind of a reminder; this is what’s happening but let’s go on with our lives, respect our country, it’s still great,” Schiele said. “We can have differences, but it doesn’t matter, we’re all Americans.”

If you want to contribute to the donations, you can stop in and do so in person or you can send them money through Venmo @firstlinebrewing.