CORRYTON, Tenn. (WATE) — A memorial service and celebration was held for Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, who was one of 13 U.S. service members killed by a suicide bomber in Kubal. Now almost a year later, those within East Tennessee and around the country came together on Saturday for Ryan’s birthday.

“I just want to send out a happy birthday. I know my son cannot hear this today, but he’d be 24 today and we know he’s cradled in the arms of the Lord,” said Ryan’s mother, Paula Knauss Selph.

She said she is still grieving the loss of her son after he was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan last August. On Saturday, apart from the memorial service, a plaque dedication was held in his honor at the Corryton Weigels. 

“We’re here today to bring honor to my son and to those who serve in the military and those who have already served in the military,” Knauss Selph said.

People drove from all over the country to remember the loss of not only Ryan, but all the fallen soldiers. 

“We never want to forget the sacrifice of these heroes,” Annie Winston, who is working to raise money for all of the families affected, said.

This is especially true for this local hero.

“He’ll have this memorial here forever. In his own community,” Bill Weigel, the chairman of Weigel’s said.

At the memorial, one student from Gibbs High School was honored with Ryan’s Staff Sgt. Endowment scholarship.