WILKINSBURG (KDKA) – On the first Sunday since the bombing in Afghanistan killed 13 American service members, the South Avenue United Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg paused in prayerful thanks.

Across the front of the church were 13 flags and 13 candles for the fallen.

READ MORE: U.S. Steel Looking For Site To Build New Steel Mill

“They are the backbone of our country,” said Pastor Russel Shuluga. “I think it’s important that we gather as people of God as a community that we might agree with the rest of the nation and the loss of these brave individuals.”

READ MORE: Pittsburgh International Airport Introduces New Dogs To The 'Paws Team'

The names of those lost were read and their families embraced in prayer.

“To pray for the broken families who have had their lives turned upside down and their lives changed forever that in God’s mercy and grace,” Pastor Shuluga said. “They might feel God’s presence and comfort.”

MORE NEWS: A Special Relationship: Truck Driver Helps Lift The Spirits Of Young Boy With Cystic Fibrosis

Pastor Shuluga said the 13 were the best of us, willing to step forward when their country needed them.