There are uplifting moments in air travel like this Alaska Airlines captain honoring a passenger by sharing his World War II story and the way this Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant cheers up a 97 year old passenger heading to the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor events.
Mike Helms caught a glimpse of another moment of honor that’s both special and far more somber last week as everyone on a Delta flight remains seated on arrival in Oklahoma City while the body of a fallen soldier is taken off the plane and returned to her waiting family.
Everyone on the plane was reportedly in tears. Even writing about it so am I.
My plane landed in Oklahoma City last night. When we stopped at the terminal, the pilot announced that he would like to inform us that we were flying one of our fallen soldiers home to her family. He asked that we remain on the plane until our soldier was removed from the plane first. He also asked that we give a moment of silence.
As we sat there waiting, I decided to look out the window and this is what I saw. A mother and father hysterically crying on their fallen soldiers casket. Standing off to the side were soldiers from her unit saluting their fallen soldier.
This moment hit me hard for some reason. I couldn’t hold back tears. As I looked around the plane, I was hoping nobody would see my moment of weakness but to my surprise, damn near everyone on the plane was crying.
The woman standing next to me was Muslim, I assume because of the hijab she wore. She was in tears and she tried consoling the woman next to her. The plane was filled with people of all races and religions. It was amazing to see everyone on that plane pay tribute to this woman and her family.
The media is what divides us. I saw no division on that plane last night. I saw Americans paying respect to their countryman. A woman who put her life on the line for me, and you, and your freedoms.
She died like many before her to give you the right to spit in her face while taking a knee during our national anthem or burning our flag in the street
Brooke Newton was born on an Air Force base. She joined the Air National Guard in high school, and then the Navy after college. Her cause of death has not been disclosed. This is the young woman, taken from her family and all of us too early.