I just got home from a little vacation in Gulfport, Mississippi. It was a short trip, but it was nice to be somewhere warm. Today’s high was 70, and I came home to a brisk 30 degrees, with snow predicted by the weekend. Now I know why people move south 🙂
I had to change planes in Atlanta 🙁 not my favorite airport. My connecting flight always seems to be on the other end of this huge airport, and it takes forever to get to where I need to go. Well, not forever, but it sure seemed like it.
As we were waiting to board our flight, I noticed a man in an Air Force uniform standing by the window. What drew my attention was seeing the flight crew go up and speak to him. He seemed older, but I figured he was probably just coming back from some time in either Iraq or Afghanistan. We watched him board the plane with the crew. Maybe he was a pilot.When we got settled in, our captain made an announcement. The man, an Air Force Sargeant, was on our flight to take the body of his son home for burial. He was killed this weekend in Iraq, and he will be buried in Arlington on Christmas Eve.
The captain asked that we please stay in our seats when the flight ended, so that this man could get off the plane first and go down to meet the hearse.
The sadness was palpable as those on my side of the plane looked out our windows to see the box containing his son’s remains removed from the cargo hold and loaded into the waiting vehicle.
Although I’m sure similar scenes take place too regularly throughout our country, it was a new experience for me. We didn’t get the name of this man’s son. I checked on-line when I got home, but the only list I could find was updated last on December 10th. I wonder how many other names are waiting to be added?
We know that freedom comes at a price, but watching this scene tonight was a powerful reminder to me and everyone on Delta Flight 1624 that freedom comes at a very heavy price. May this young man rest in peace, and may his family be consoled by a grateful nation.