Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Honoring the Fallen

I had an unusual experience yesterday while flying from Raleigh to Dallas. After all of the passengers had boarded and were in their seats, the pilot announced that it was our honor that day to be transporting the remains of a fallen soldier home to a final resting place. I had noticed while waiting to board, that some sort of honor guard had just done something out near our plane. They had escorted the casket to its position in the cargo hold of the jet. The pilot requested that we remain seated upon arrival at our gate in Dallas until the military honor guard flying with us could exit in order to escort the body to its next destination.

I did not know this young man, who had lost his life in Iraq. However, I was reminded how grateful I am to be living in a country where young men and women are willing to give their very lives to protect the freedoms that I enjoy, and often take for granted. It was my honor to show respect to the fallen soldier, as well as to the military honor guard who had the responsibility of making sure this young man's body made it back safely to his family and his final resting place.


Brian Megilligan said...

I'm curious to know if others on the plane shared your patience and showed the same kind of respect

Doug Holden said...

Everyone! It didn't take long for the honor guard to exit, so no one had to wait much. It was just odd (and nice) to see everyone seated after the arrival. I think several in first class gave up their seats for the honor guard. One of them started out sitting next to me in the exit row, but before we took off, he moved up front, and someone else took his seat.