There are moments in life that happen and give you great perpective, allow you to be truly thankful for what you have, and thankful for the sacrifces of others. The people on Delta Flight 2255 from Atlanta to Los Angeles had one of those moments.
There were quite a few uniformed soldiers on board the plane and during take-off the flight attendent took a moment to thank them for serving our country, and welcome everyone. Her message was met with applause. The flight seemed like any other until shortly before landing.
Passenger Johnny Jet shared his experience on this flight, along with a short video.
About 45 minutes before landing, the captain announced that their plane was transporting a fallen soldier. Everyone on-board got very quiet. He further explained how there was going to be a military escort for our hero -- the soldiers in uniform on the flight -- and asked everyone to remain seated after landing so the soldiers could get off the flight first. He said that this escort was also going to include police cars and fire trucks since Los Angeles has a tradition of greeting their fallen soldiers with a water canon salute.
Passenger Johnny Jet described that salute as "water glistening on the windowpanes [that] looked like tears."
When the plane pulled into gate 69A, the family of the fallen soldier could be seen standing with the United States Army Honor Guard. The flag covered casket came out from the cargo hold, and the solider's family was seen gathering around. A woman placed her hand on the casket.
The passengers on the plane were told they could exit by a military officer after the escorts deplaned. He said:
I just addressed the escort. It is a sworn oath to bring home, to the family, the fallen. Today you all did that, you are all escorts, escorts of the heart.
No one moved. There was silence. Surely, a humbling moment. Everyone needed some time to gather their thoughts, reflect, be sad, be thankful for our military who have given everything for our country. It was their tribute, as they were as the officer said "escorts of the heart." Thank you to all our heroes and their families.
Have you ever been on a flight with members of our military?
Image via Johnny Jet