In Chile, inspiration rises from a half mile down into the earth!


I’ve been watching the Chilean mine rescue like about a billion other people on earth…the 2nd gentleman to emerge put tears in my eyes.

As Allahpundit put it, it has been  The. Television. Event. of. a. Lifetime.

Mario Sepulveda was hoisted up from the depths of the earth.  He emerged to hug his wife…and he came up with a gift bag!  He handed out rocks to the rescuers and the President of Chile.  Then he fist-pumped his way over to the crowd and began a patriotic chant for Chile.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

The Anchoress best portrays the scene as Sepulveda emerges

And then, after a brief wait, the second miner emerges from the rescue capsule with great joy; he embraces his wife and then opens a bag to retrieve…gifts.

For others.

In the midst of all of this drama, all of the lights and excitement and concern, and at a moment when a man could reasonably be excused for thinking only of himself, Mario Sepulveda Espinace thought about others, and he brought them gifts.

Rocks? Rocks containing gold? It doesn’t matter. Mario Sepulveda Espinace crested the top of a hole from which he thought he might never escape, and his first instinct was to give. That’s a thing worth writing about, and thinking about and praying about. I wish I had a picture of that moment! How huge and resilient is the human spirit?

We were already witnessing something jaw-dropping and near-miraculous. And a man arose bearing gifts, and it got even better, for everyone in the world who was paying attention.

What an inspiration to watch these men who’ve literally been through a hell we can’t imagine….They have clearly inspired the world…but from where did they draw their inspiration?

Strong Faith.

From Christianity Today via Michelle Malkin:

The men have worked hard to keep their spirits buoyant during the ordeal, organizing themselves into a community and dividing up their living-room-sized space. Early on, they set aside a space to pray daily, and religious groups have converged on the mine to serve the miner’s spiritual needs. Once a supply line was established, Seventh-Day Adventists sent down mini-Bibles with magnifying glasses; the Jesus Film Project loaded 33 MP3 players with an audio adaptation of the famous JESUS film. A crucifix was sent down in August, and it’s said that miners also requested statues of Mary and the saints. The miners signed a flag which was presented to Pope Benedict this weekend.

And this from one of the 33 miners, a nineteen year-old:

“There are actually 34 of us…..because God has never left us down here.”

Wow.

Again, from The Anchoress:

This is a story that only real-life could tell, and if we’re really listening, we can learn a lot from it about how wrong we’re getting things up here above – in our values, our cynicism, our lowered expectations about everyone around us and everything. Lots to think about.

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Something to consider: A snapshot-in-time of YOUR country


As I’ve read and listened to the new just over the last several days, I just keep wondering what our country is and has been transforming to. 

As I’ve stated before, I no longer believe the fight in this country is between Republicans and Democrats or liberals vs. conservatives, per se. I believe our fight is clearly one on many fronts: good vs. evil, anti-Capitalists vs. Capitalists, immoral vs. moral, and haters-of-Americans vs. America lovers, and freedom suppressors vs. freedom lovers. This includes clear assaults on our markets, upon Christians, upon patriots, our military, and our system of laws. 

Much of the most recent news gives a great glimpse into the country we are becoming and have become. As you read these examples, think to yourself if this is the country you want now and one you wish to leave to your kids and grandkids. 

We’ve sat on the sidelines for far too long while we’ve allowed these assaults on our institutions to fester and grow. It is a sad state of affairs.  And the current administration and Congress has done virtually nothing to make it better and almost everything to make it worse. 

I give you, my fellow citizens, a snapshot of your country in the Spring, 2010: 

Patriotism no longer accepted:  Students sent home for wearing American flag to school on Cinco de Mayo 

Students from Live Oak School in California

 

A group of California students who dared to wear the American flag on Cinco de Mayo learned a hard lesson about the corruption of citizenship and sovereignty this week. 

They were sent home for their show of U.S. patriotism. 

  

No bounds to immorality and perversion:  It’s official: Cher’s gender-swap son Chaz Bono is legally a man   The disgusting details: 

Chaz Bono as man....formerly Chastity Bono

 

Bono started undergoing gender-reassignment surgery in March 2009 – soon after turning 40. 

In an interview last year, he said undergoing the surgery was ‘the best decision I’ve ever made’. 

He said: ‘I feel so much more comfortable than I’ve ever been. 

‘I’ve felt male as far back as I can remember. Life is short and life is precious. This is who I am. I need to finally be who I am.’ 

He explained that the entire  transition from female to male will take about four to five years. 

So far, his breasts have been removed and he has received hormone treatments to deepen his voice. And to his delight, he now has to shave his face. 

As one commenter in the news article stated clearly: 

What should be discussed as a psychiatric disorder is instead being celebrated, at least by this nutty girl and a few like-minded gawkers. 

And another: 

“Anyone can be confused and uncomfortable, have pieces removed and foreign pieces sewn on, and take hormones to change all sorts of things. It does not change what you were created to be. It only creates an illusion.” 

Intolerance of Christianity and free speech:  National Day of Prayer ruled unconstitutional  & Franklin Graham disinvited to speak at Prayer event because of his views on Islam

Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted Muslims. 

“It looks like Islam has gotten a pass,” he told reporters. “They are able to have their services, but just because I disagree … I’m excluded.” 

Franklin Graham

 

Kudos to Graham for defending his beliefs and Jesus Christ and hanging tough amidst his Biblically prophetic outright persecution.  Since when is it not OK to profess the Christian faith and belief? Maybe since Obama said, “We are no longer a Christian Nation“. More Graham: 

He (Graham) said he doesn’t believe “all religions are equal” and that there is only “one way to God” — and that is through Jesus. 

Asked if he still believes Islam is evil, he said: “I believe the way they treat women is evil, yes I do.” And, can he understand how some of his comments would be offensive to Muslims? “Oh, I’m sure,” he said. “But I find what they teach and what they preach and what’s on the Internet — I find that to be offensive, too.” 

Another moment in the press conference, he said people shouldn’t be offended because it’s simply a disagreement in what people believe. 

Last time I checked, Franklin Graham runs an organization for helping the poor, downtrodden, and abused.  They are active in Haiti, Chile, Nashville and more currently helping with disasters.   He comes from perhaps the most ethical of families but is persecuted for calling evil what it is.  Islam is not a religion of love and helping fellow man, but is an authoritative one of suppression, threats, and violence and one that condemns those who disagree with its tenets.  

Franklin Graham prays for Muslims with whom he disagrees.  But in Islam, Graham is an infidel and worthy of death.  Can the contrast be any more stark? 

More snapshots  of your country in the news including High Unemployment, Immorality, boycotts for border laws, Presidential power grabs, entitlements run amok and sports star and Hollywood depravity: 

Of course, not all is lost in America.  I hold out great hope that the uprising of American patriots will turn back the tide of this assault on America. 

But reality is reality and these headlines are but a snapshot in time of our country right now.  Would the founders even recognize us anymore?  Just ponder the thought and think/pray about what it is that you might be able to offer to our country to change it back to what it was meant to be.

Football, Flyovers, and a Proud nation


I just love football and LOVE military flyovers…and I have high regard for Tony Dungy…ex-NFL football coach for the Indianapolis Colts…..if you love these things, too, then you’ll enjoy this video!

ENJOY!

I once attended the Super Bowl in San Diego when the Stealth bomber flew over….WOW!  I’ve also seen an S-3 Viking flyover which is the type of plane my husband flew in the Navy.  I’ve seen many other flyovers and I ALWAYS have a lump in my throat when it’s over.

How is it that football and flyovers can make me cry?  I don’t know, but I did while watching this video!

Side note: Tony Dungy won the Super Bowl while coaching the Indianapolis Colts.  He also had a dear son commit suicide a few years ago.  George W. Bush’s thoughts on Tony Dungy:

I congratulate the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Tony Dungy. (Applause.) And I’m glad his wife, Lauren, is here, as well. Tony Dungy is the first African American coach to ever win a Super Bowl. (Applause.) That, in itself, is a great honor. But interestingly enough, he is a man who has used his — a position of notoriety to behave in a quiet and strong way in the face of personal tragedy that has influenced a lot of our fellow citizens. And I want to thank you for your courage. (Applause.) 

George W. Bush

( Video H/T: Ace of Spades)

American Thinker: I Love Her, Scars and All


This post today by Frank V. Johnson at American Thinker reminds me of John Wayne’s America, Why I Love Her from the 1970’s.  My mom used to play it on our stereo back in the day.  Back then, I could not have conceived as a young child, how very important our America’s founding, Constitution, and freedom are to our way of life.  But it is all too clear now when threats have been exposed from within that could potentially take it all away.

Perhaps John Wayne’s and Johnson’s thoughts below should be required reading for every American who blindly believes the healthcare bill is about healthcare instead of entitlement, power and revocation of freedom.

The full text of Johnson’s piece:

My love for her has sometimes been called into question, mostly by those who have never found a love of their own. The tell me that I can do better for myself, and that I should expect more from the one I give my heart to. It’s a funny thing, this thing called love. It seems to me that no matter what they have, people by their selfish nature always seem to want more and more, no matter what it costs. But I have found that the love I have for her is something that cannot be shaken by the doubts and criticisms of other people.

She has her scars, and she has her faults, but I knew that going into this relationship. Yeah, she’s a little older than me, and that was always an issue for other people, but I find that there is a certain wisdom that can come only with the passage of time. And since she has seen a lot more in her time than I have seen in mine, I will trust that she might have a better view of things, especially the things I have yet to see for myself.

Now, I have done a lot of things in my life, and I am not so ashamed to admit that of some of those things I am not so proud. She too has her sins, and has also borne the brunt of righteous ridicule. Though we have both committed sins, we have atoned for them and have done more to make them right than those who stand in judgment of our relationship while never admitting their own flaws.

I love her, not only for her well-spoken words and great deeds of charity, but also for the scars she bares, both physical and otherwise. It is her scars and sins that have given her her beauty and tested her resolve.

I ask of her nothing, but she demands my best. When I reach out for her hand, she is always there, not to lift me up or to be my crutch, but to give me the assurance that I can stand on my own. It is that warm yet distant strength, that voice calling me to my feet, that somehow soothes my pain. She, like my mother, will stand on the sideline, cheering me on, but letting me fail or succeed on my own accord. She doesn’t want me to falter, but she knows that with every failure comes the knowledge required to move beyond and to move ahead.

While to me she is one of Gods greatest creations, there are some who would want her to change. They want her to soften her image and cover her scars. They would impose upon her their ideal and remove from her her unique beauty. Those she is presented to would sanitize her past, while in the privacy of like-minded fools, they would sully her soul. They would take from her her potential while dismissing all the good she has done.

What they do not understand is that it is exactly the things they would change that have made her who she is. To say you love is to be accepting. Long has it been the quest of men and women to take and mold into unachievable imagery that which we claim to love unconditionally. That is not love, but desire and infatuation. We cast onto others the shortcomings we see in ourselves and expect things to be something they are not.

For me, love is not something to be twisted and molded, but to be cherished for what it is. Much like the vows of matrimony, we are to love, for better or worse, for richer or poorer. And while she has sometimes given me less than I wanted, she has always given me exactly what I deserved. I can only hope that she gives me the respect and love that I have given to her, but if she falls short of that wish, that is fine, too…because I love her for what she is.

And while you may say to me that I deserve better, I will ask you, “Why?” Is it not good enough that she has given me everything that I need? Is it not good enough that I was blessed to be in her company? It is not by mere good fortune that she has embraced me in her arms and allowed me to strive for everything while asking of me only that I protect her from those who would have me dismiss her. Is it too much for them to understand that she is everything that has filled the dreams of those less fortunate? Is it not enough for them to know that millions and millions would give everything they have for one breath of her, one touch from her loving hand, one glimpse of her radiance, one chance to live in her heart?

What would they have her be? An apologetic, apathetic shell, to be filled with the empty promise of an unattainable utopia? I’m sorry, but that is not love; that is dissatisfaction. And for those so dissatisfied with the one I love that they would destroy everything she is, I have a message…

This is my America, and I love her, scars and all.

One President at a time on Israel…Two Presidents for Economy


Isn’t the silence deafening? Obama hasn’t invoked one thought, idea, plan, or any type of support during the past week of Israel’s rightful bombardment of Hamas….the only peep we’ve heard is “Obama respects that there is only one President at time”…..

obama-condescendingFunny that…..According to several news reports, Obama is giving a major speech on his Socialist economic stimulus plan this week…..and we currently have ONE President in office.

I mean I’ll be the first to admit that Bush and Congress’ free-for-all bailouts in 2008 did enough damage….do we really need TWO Presidents handing over more taxpayer money this month? 

I’d rather have TWO Presidents supporting Israel at the moment! 

AND Obama has asked his Dem-controlled Congress to have an economic plan on his desk the day of inauguration. (Although reports today say it may be mid-February, which is still a rushed bill)

You know what that means right? It will be a bill pulled together in two weeks with little to no ability for citizens (or many members of Congress) to review before the Socialist Dems vote in Obama’s job stimulus plan for 600,000 NEW GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES  and government welfare checks  for those who work part time….not to mention tax increases on the “wealthy”…you know, the ones who actually stimulate business and employment.

As we start the new year, this post serves as a reminder of the long, hellacious ride we are in for after we get back down to ONE President on January 20 and a majority of Socialist, dunderheads in Congress to rubber stamp Obama’s welfare and Socialist programs….

I keep telling myself America has bounced back before…and I hope we do again after the beating that liberty, self-sufficiency, morality, common sense, and plain-old patriotism are about to take for at least the next 4 years!

Thoughts on the election: Obama elected 20 years after Reagan DEFEATED the same ideology held by Obama


obamessiah1After a slightly unrestful night of sleep, I am feeling like Obama’s bus ran over me…..I think I can stay focused enough this morning, however, to complete some of my thoughts about this monumental turn of events with this country electing Obama.

I respect the office of the Presidency, but I do not have to respect the man who will be holding that office starting in January, 2009. 

Since 2000, the hateful Left has found it necessary to vilify President Bush from the day he stepped into office, based largely on the factually incorrect notion that Bush “stole the election”.  The rhetoric has been so strong, with our side only mildly speaking what is truth, that, I believe, many Americans have begun to drink the Koolaid that Bush is an evil man. 

Here is where we start down the path of right is wrong and wrong is right.  The same people who have led the drumbeat that “Bush stole the election”, Bush is spying on you, and “Bush lied, people died”, now believe they have elected a pure and righteous man in Obama…..funny, if not terrifying, isn’t it?

I will be the last person to defend many of Bush’s policies including unnecessary spending, government bailouts, and amnesty proposals, among others.  I will be the first to defend the fact that Bush handily dealt with a great blow to our country that occurred on 9/11/01–only one other President in our history has ever managed such an attack on our country–The fact that Bush has kept us safe for the 7 1/2 years since is worthy of our praise.   Much of the work to secure America after 9/11 was not perfectly executed, but the results speak for themselves.  The efforts by this Administration on securing our country and fighting for Freedom around the world are second to none.     These efforts by the Bush Administration, despite the Left’s calls for surrender and their demeaning attacks on our country and military, have been so successful that, it seems, America has reverted back to a 9/10/01 mindset….so much so that we, at least through this election yesterday, wish to take a stab at opening the door to 1960’s radical ideology….

Something I noted to my husband this morning….it is ironic, if not downright chilling, that a short twenty years after Reagan left office we have elected a man that lives, breathes, and will fight for the very ideology that Reagan defeated around the world!   Think about that.  Further, if we can take a 180 degree turn like that in this country in a short 20 years, much damage can be done in the next four!

I have never been a very politically correct person by nature.  When I was a manager in corporate America, I did not deal well with politics in the workplace.  I just don’t have it in me to pretend that something is “OK” or that I embrace it just so “everyone gets along” and we “all have the same message”…..I think it is a hereditary thing for me.

This is applicable because I have read some right blogs last night and today who believe we should embrace and congratulate the man of Obama on his victory.  (many, I might add, don’t feel that way)  Even McCain and Bush have and will say something similar.  I disagree. While I don’t believe in being a poor sport when you find yourself on the losing side, I do believe in stating truth about how the race was won. 

Obama does not deserve respect for winning an election on his broken promise to take public financing.  His broken promise led to record cash for his campaign through foreign (illegal) donations and money laundering, of sorts, and through non traceable “gift” credit cards and the lack of measures to screen credit cards for fraudulent activity.  It is hard to say exactly how much of his record cash was acquired through illegal/fraudulent means, but I venture to guess it is a monumental amount.  So an effort to “buy” the Presidency illegally is not worthy of our praise or respect.

Obama does not deserve respect for his ties to ACORN and voter registration fraud.  With some of his record cash, Obama donated almost $1 million dollars to ACORN (that is the amount we know about…).  One could argue that cash went straight to voter fraud efforts….is this worthy of praise?

Obama does not deserve respect just because he has made history as a black man.  While I would be the first to vote for any black man who respects our country, its traditions, and its Constitution, I think the historic nature of America’s first black President is undermined by the fact that our country sold its soul to Obama’s radical and dangerous ideology in an effort to make that history.

Obama does not deserve respect for his soaring rhetoric about bringing our country together and the “politics of change” when his campaign was deeply engaged in silencing those who had the audacity to disagree with Obama.   It is not indicative of a great leader, nor a “healer”, when that person speaks harmony but behind the scenes he invokes intimidation, character assassination, and life-destroying techniques so that opponents will be silenced.  Just think Joe the Plumber, Stanley Kurtz, Sarah Palin and her family for the most recent examples.

While it is healthy for our country to disagree and for new ideas to flow, it is not healthy when illegal, immoral, and destructive tactics are used in an effort to gain votes and win an election.  It is also not healthy when our country chooses a man who sees our Constitution as a “negative” document…..this is not something we can or should embrace about Obama. 

We can disagree on tax policy, social issues, and military strategy and have a healthy debate about those topics.  But there is nothing healthy, nor worthy of adoration, about a man who chooses to force his views, his policies, and his ideology on a country through illegal means and tactics….

For those of us who voted against Obama, we must step up the fight for our country.  It is a historic election, not because Obama is black, but because we have, for the first time, elected an avowed Socialist and Marxist as our President.  If Obama follows his gut and his ideology, we are in for some rough times ahead….we have to continue the fight that our forefathers began over 230 years ago.

For all of us, take a good hard look at Obama and what (little) we know of him.  He has rarely, if ever, espoused a sincere love of this country AS IT IS AND HOW IT WAS ENVISIONED BY OUR FOUNDERS.  His rhetoric has dripped with words indicating he believes us to be a nasty country (that holds peaceful elections and dares to defend itself against its enemies), a racist country (who, by the way, just elected a black man), and an uncaring country (this country gives more to the world than any other in history)….

Obama wants to change much about our country including our Constitution and our financial system….well, I believe we are about to see that change….and I don’t think you are going to like it.

We have traditionally held many ideologies and groups to be enemies of this country and enemies of freedom around the world.  They’ve included, but are not limited to: Communists, Socialists, Marxist Dictators, Al Qaeda, Palestinians, radical Islam, Weather Underground, terrorist groups, charismatic and/or evil leaders like Hitler and Stalin.

Now think about which party, Republicans or Democrats, have historically fought these evils of the world and which have embraced them and allowed them to exist…..One question to ask yourself…..Do you think our enemies are happy wih our recent election and those who will now be in power of our Presidency and Congress?

Another blogger takes this concept one step further – our enemies are now in charge of our country:

The United States government now falls into the hands of the enemies of this country and civilization for a time or forever. And that is part of what the (coming) war is about. The country has been in the hands of people we disagreed with, but never in the hands of people whose views are as diametrically opposed to ours as anything in the Third Reich or the Kremlin. In their hands Federal power becomes enemy power.

As I mentioned before, I don’t believe in waxing all politically correct in an effort to pretend that something wrong is right.  I believe that black (and white) Americans should be proud that we have apparently come so far since the days when blacks were grossly mistreated in this country.  We have now, unfortunately, achieved history with a black man whose character, ideals, history, morality, and associations are dangerously and sadly un-American.   Americans should be ashamed of themselves today…..but those of us who love America and its traditions and Constitution are alive to fight another day….and fight for Her we will!

UPDATE 11/5/08:  Similar sentiments to mine:  On nobility at Protein Wisdom.

“We have H.R. on board”


You will not be able to get through this without tears….From Blackfive, posted by Maj Pain:

‘We have H. R. on this flight’, she said. (H. R. stands for human remains.)

‘Are they military’, I asked.

Yes’, she said.

Is there an escort’, I asked.

‘Yes, I already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck, you can board him early’, I said.

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and with us.
‘My
soldier is on his way back to Virginia ‘, he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words on his own. I asked him If there was anything I could do for him and he said ‘no.’ I told him that he has the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. ‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is onboard’, he said.
He
then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year-old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait 4 hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia . The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when he asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it’, I said. I told him that I would get back to him.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.
There is a
radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had onboard with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and this following is the text.
‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family, thanks.’ I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job.

I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’ Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.
After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.
It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.
‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told.
It
looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane.

As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’ I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking. I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement.

We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His name is private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold.
Escorting
him today is army sergeant XXXXXXX. Also onboard are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft. When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap their hands.
Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of ‘God Bless You, I’m sorry, Thank you, Be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with the loved one lost.

I never did see the family. Another soldier died, another family grieved and we did what we could. That is the way it works sometimes. I get a call from the cabin; we work as a team to do what we can. That day everybody from the flight crew, to the operations center, to the 184 passengers onboard, we did what we could.
Many of
the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I made.
They were just words, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring that soldier back.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this day and the sacrifices that millions of men and women have made to ensure our freedom, safety, and the right to live a good life.