It had been a long couple of days traveling on business. As the plane began its descent to our home airport, my thoughts were on getting to my car, making my way home, and preparing for the next busy work day. That’s when things changed…
An announcement came over the speakers, informing us that we were carrying one of our fallen soldiers back to his home on this flight. We were asked to remain seated as the military escort de-planed, and our fallen warrior’s body was given the proper, ceremonial unloading.
The plane landed, and as the military escort prepared to honor our solider, time stood still. I watched as the military honor guard marched up to the plane to meet the flag draped coffin. While some left the plane to go on with their lives, others of us sat reverently as the soldier’s family gathered around the coffin, Bible in hand, and cried together.
I no longer focused on how tired I was or how busy my next day was going to be. The powerful scene unfolding just outside my window changed my thoughts and perspective.
Suddenly, I found myself immersed in several emotions. I felt sorrow for the loss of that grieving family. I was grateful for the men and women who choose to defend our country, even if it means putting themselves in harms way. I found myself angry for the lack of respect and honor given to our military heroes.
In the aftermath of the recent horrific events in France, my experience on the plane has become even more impactful. We are in desperate need of leaders who have the courage to make the hard call and the commitment to do what it takes to protect our country.
I was honored to ride on a plane with just such a leader. His flag draped coffin is a symbol of his ultimate commitment and sacrifice. He gave his life for his country.
As we go about our busy schedules, let’s take the time to recognize and respect those who are protecting our ability to live without fear. Thank God for those brave men and women who are willing to fight for our freedom, for they certainly are making a difference!