As per usual, I experienced a few strange situations and delays on my flights to and from the Midwest last month.
My second flight home was delayed a number of times, so I found myself with more than a little extra time at the Dallas airport. I decided on an Auntie Anne's pretzel for lunch, both because I love these pretzels, but also because the only Auntie Anne's restaurant in the terminal was a 10-minute walk from my gate - a perfect opportunity to knock out a few of my 10,000 steps for the day.
Halfway to Anne's, I came upon a large crowd pressing toward the window and looking out onto the tarmac. I could see flashing lights through the glass, so I assumed criminal behavior had resulted in the culprit's forced removal from a plane. Wanting to know for sure (I'm a bit of a medical and criminal gawker), I gently pushed my way through the hoards of people to the window. When I finally achieved a better vantage point, I saw not just a police car, but a firetruck, an ambulance...and a hearse. I stood quietly with my hand on my heart and watched as a member of the United States Military - one who had sacrificed his life for our country - was loaded into the belly of a plane for his final journey home.
I wasn't thrilled about my delayed flight, but in that moment I was grateful for the change in plans. I could handle another hour away from my husband and kids because at the end of the day, I was going home to my husband and kids. I felt - and still feel - honored for the opportunity to say a silent thank you to this service member and bear witness to his last flight.
Veterans Day fell on Saturday, but as Hallie's elementary school will celebrate and thank our Veterans today, it felt appropriate to put this post up today.
"Their task was great and their sacrifice even greater...their legacy stands firm and their memories burn bright."
~ Former President George H.W. Bush at the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial dedication in 2002.