What This Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant Did for a Pearl Harbor Survivor Will Be the Best Thing You Hear Today

A Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant — the reigning Mrs. Hawaii America — noticed that a 97 year old and his family who were headed to the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor events and were last to board seemed upset. So she brainstormed a way to cheer them up.

Veteran Ray Richmond was heading to Honolulu. So were Hawaiian musical group Makaha Sons. So the flight attendant asked if they would perform.

With an hour left in the flight, they went to the row where Richmond was sitting with his family. The lead flight attendant announced that Richmond was a Pearl Harbor veteran. Beltrame-Tevaga took a lei from around her neck and placed it on Richmond.

Mark Yim of the group played the guitar while Jerome Koko and Kimo Artis sang “Papalina Lahilahi.” Beltrame-Tevaga danced hula next to Richmond’s seat.

Richmond said it was the best part of his trip. The flight attendant described it as “a gift — something genuine, only Hawaii can offer.”

Other passengers went up to the World War II veteran “and started to kiss him and crying and thank him for all his service.”

Oh, and Mrs. Hawaii America hula dances in the aisle.

Having lived in DC for years, I’m no stranger to honor flights bringing veterans to their memorials in the nation’s capital. Those are special, but they’re also organized and planned.

Here was one flight attendant, inspired to do something for a veteran, and she found the perfect way to do it with the help of other willing passengers. There are plenty of ‘horrible passenger’ stories out there, but there are some really great passengers too.

(HT: mogon)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What a great story. Please keep posting items like this, it’s too easy today to have little faith in what members of our nation can do for each other.

  2. Sorry but I have never had a flight attendant nearly that attractive. I am clearly flying the wrong airlines!

  3. All of our veterans deserve this type of treatment. Especially since as time passes we lose more WW II veterans every year. All of us but mostly younger generations need to be grateful and thank these brave men and women because the freedoms we enjoy are not free

  4. > Having lived in DC for years, I’m no stranger to honor flights bringing veterans to their memorials in the nation’s capital.

    Everything’s always gotta be about YOU, no matter how far you have to stretch it. Never miss a chance for self-promotion there, thought-leader.


  5. Thank you so much for sharing.. Keep reporting the good things people are doing.
    We need more good news stories like this!!
    Safe travels.
    Jackie W.

  6. We have a story about a flight attendant doing an amazing job and going above and beyond to be a wonderful human being. @Bill comments on her looks. Yay for sexist pigs!

  7. Well, this is the America that I know. I was afraid that America was losing its identity. But thank you to these types of people.

  8. I was at DCA watching from the gate area of that exact WW2 veterans flight. I believe it was back in October. Around the 2nd week.

  9. I think the flight attendant is an exhibitionist. A very attractive one though.

    If a passenger started dancing in the aisle because someone was depressed the plane would divert and they would be arrested.

  10. Having lived in Hawaii for many years, the above comment shows the significant cultural differences between local islanders and some from the mainland USA.

    I assure you NOBODY in Hawaii (locals) would view this special young lady an an “exhibitionist.” Hula is a gift and has deep spiritual meaning and cultural significance to the people of Hawaii.

    Her act (and those of the musicians) embodies the true spirit of Aloha which I have witnessed countless times, and I assure you, it is not just some kind of act put on for tourists. It is what makes Hawaii special –it is why I call Hawaii home.

  11. @Albert = @Brian = @Paul = @Ralph on a variety of different posts, comes by just to lift his leg in the comments. The reference to honor flights is to suggest that this isn’t the only time veterans get honored by airlines, but what I thought made this special is the spontaneous nature of this driven by a single flight attendant who took initiative.

  12. @RCB thinks appreciating an attractive woman = being a “sexist pig” (SIC).

    Because as we all know “testosterone is a disease”.

    Yes, there is a name for this: Misandry 😉 Wiki links has a very interesting article on Misandry, especially the section about “Radical feminism”.

  13. @Robert Hanson, who is probably also @Bill: If reducing a woman’s hard work and achievement to a comment on her looks isn’t sexism then the definition has changed. Though, misogyny also works.

    As I am a man, I doubt I posses misandry, so nice try. As a gay man, I especially can attest that I absolutely have no prejudice AGAINST men (the definition of misandry), it’s just the opposite in fact. I just hate assholes who treat women badly and diminish them.

  14. Bill could have commented on her actions, or he could have not commented at all. He choose to rate this human being based solely on her looks (denigrating other flight attendants at the same time), that is sexism.

  15. @RCB Somehow I doubt she would have a problem with someone claiming she is attractive, especially given she participates in beauty pageants where there is a heavy emphasis on looks. Always pleasant to be accused by someone on the internet of being a “sexist pig”, because I commented that a woman was attractive. Don’t see how that takes away from her nice act. I guess some people want to find the negative in everyone.

  16. @Bill, and by that logic, those women who wear low-cut blouses, or any other thing men deem to be “sexy” are obviously asking to be cat-called, harassed, and degraded because of it, right?

  17. Great story – and what a kind woman to do this for him. The greatest generation – love it when we honor them.

  18. @RCB I have no idea why you think I posted under 2 different names. I did not.

    Males can be infected by misandry, as it applies to attitude, rather than gender. Probably from a Stockholm Syndrome reaction to Radical Feminism.

    However after reading your subsequent posts:

    “any other thing men deem to be “sexy” are obviously asking to be cat-called, harassed, and degraded” (sic)

    “I just hate assholes who treat women badly and diminish them”

    Since Bill did not in any way treat anyone badly, nor diminish anyone, he simply appreciated her attractiveness, perhaps I should have also mentioned ‘anti-hetero’.

    In any case, have a nice day. 😉

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