1 hr · time posted 6:04 PM
Friday. September 29, 2017. Delta #1814. Atlanta to Pensacola. Packed plane. And on the plane with us was an American who made the ultimate sacrifice. And was going home. A coffin draped with the American Flag was in the underbelly of the plane. It was being escorted home by a member of the military, full dress, carrying a folded American flag & other special items for the family. A passenger in first class gave up his seat for this escort. People politely applauded. We all would have done the same. When we landed, Delta people asked that we let the military escort deplane first. He was to meet the family. Not a person moved. No one even stood to retrieve a bag from the overhead bin. I heard no one talking on a cellphone. After the escort deplaned, we all stood quietly to gather our things & leave. The plane emptied without anyone saying a word. In the gate area, with no instructions to do so, the passengers turned as a group and walked to look down through the windows as members of a military guard walked slowly in perfect time toward the plane and waited for their fallen warrior. I saw no passengers leave to head toward baggage claim. People from other flights saw what was happening, stopped walking and joined our group. Then, slowly, so very slowly, a coffin draped in the American flag appeared and began to move down the conveyor belt into the hands of the white-gloved waiting military escorts. At the first sight of the draped American flag, passengers, by then from our flight and many planes, without instruction, put their hands over their hearts as they stood in respect. Many, I'm assuming former or current miliary, saluted. No one moved until the car with the remains left the tarmac and the military team walked quietly away in unison and disappeared. I glanced around. People of various races, ages and I'm sure, religions, had stood in respect because they wanted to. They honored our fallen warrior because they wanted to.They honored our flag because they wanted to. And many had tears streaming down their faces. I was one of them. None of us knew the race, religion, gender or politics of the fallen American. It didn't matter. It just didn't matter. Thanks to all who have served and especially to those who "gave all" for the rest of us. God bless America.