It was a normal flight – fit your bags into a tight space, squeeze your body into a tight seat, and endure the rough ride. Yes, it was a normal flight; until the captain made this announcement as we made our approach into Kansas City, “Ladies and gentleman this is your captain speaking and I have a request. Our flight today is carrying the body of a fallen hero; one of America’s finest who was killed in Afghanistan. The family is on board and as a sign of respect would you please allow them to exit the aircraft first so that they can meet their hero on the tarmac.” And with that announcement our flight was no longer normal; because we were an honor flight carrying an American hero home for the final time.
In this era of hyper politics where:
- Shutting down the government, and bringing into question the full faith and credit of the United States is celebrated as some kind of victory, and
- Despite three years to plan the roll out of a website designed to help millions of the uninsured is broken beyond belief, and
- Liberals and Conservatives view each other as enemies of the state instead of fellow Americans.
It is no wonder that we become caught up in this Washington sideshow to the degree that many of us have forgotten that American men and women are serving in places that many of us would not go, fighting and dying in a war that unfortunately, far too many of us have forgotten.
That is, until by happenstance our normal lives and flights are disrupted with the sight of “the last measure of devotion” given by a few brave Americans; so that the majority of us can enjoy the freedom and peace that we daily squander in petty politics.
It’s called an honor flight. However, for me it was a humbling flight; because of the honor given to me – that I should ride on a plane with that solider. And because of that, I now vow to pray daily for those who have fought and are still fighting for us.
Thank you for your service my honor flight solider.
May you rest in God’s eternal grace and peace.